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Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy through Art

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North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum

612 East Boulevard Avenue

Bismarck, ND 58501

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The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI), North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA), and North Dakota Council of Humanities (NDCH) are collaboratively hosting the Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy through Art and Image-Making Within the Writing Process trainings. Beth Olshansky, Director of the Center for the Advancement of Art-Based Literacy at the University of New Hampshire in Durham and author of The Power of Pictures: Creating Pathways to Literacy Through for teachers will facilitate both trainings.

Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art and Image-Making Within The Writing Process are two dynamic art-and-literature based approaches to writing developed by Beth Olshansky to meet the needs of students with diverse learning styles. Through the use of simple hands-on art experiences, the introduction of quality picture books, and an on-going Artists/Writers Workshop, these innovative approaches give children access to visual and kinesthetic as well as verbal modes of thinking at each and every stage of the writing process. They allow all children to enter the writing process from a position of personal strength and enthusiasm.

The NDDPI along with its partners NDCA and NDCH will cover the cost of registration and materials to eligible participants that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Educators working in the Bureau of Indian Education schools and/or in schools with a high percentage of Native American students. Native language and culture teachers are highly encouraged to attend.

  • Educators working in a school with a student population consisting of 40% or more poverty rate.

  • Educators working in Title I schoolwide programs.

  • Educators of English Learners.

Picturing Writing is a dynamic art-and-literature-based approach to writing using simple hands-on art experiences, the introduction of quality picture books, and an on-going artists/writers training to promote literacy while meeting the needs of students with diverse learning styles. With a two-decade-long history of proven effectiveness, Picturing Writing can be easily woven throughout the language arts, science, social studies, and curriculum. An array of concrete visual tools such as storyboards, specially designed brainstorming sheets, and accordion folders will ensure that students create art and writing with clear literary purpose. The Picturing Writing process has been used as an effective tool for making cultural connections and for Native Language instruction. To view a video of teachers and students in Nunavut, Canada, engaged in the Picturing Writing process, visit https://youtu.be/1HtAj7cJOmY.

Expected Outcomes

  • To expand teacher's notions about literacy learning to recognize the important role which visual and kinesthetic thinking can play in supporting the development of basic literacy skills.

  • To provide teachers with a new framework for facilitating the writing process.

  • To provide teachers with a rich experiential learning opportunity which will encourage teachers to rethink traditional classroom practices regarding the teaching of basic skills.

  • To offer concrete tools for fostering literacy for children with diverse learning styles.

  • To provide a model for integrating Picturing Writing into the curriculum.

If you are an educator who does not meet the above criteria and would like to be placed on our waiting list. You will be notified by April 17, 2017, if there is a space available. This is a first come serve availaiblity.

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North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum

612 East Boulevard Avenue

Bismarck, ND 58501

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