Education Blog

Grateful for the Gift of Image, Sound and Story: A Teacher's Perspective

By Tara O'Gorman - Fifth Grade Teacher, Casimir Pulaski Elementary 04.06.17

Establishing Shot: A classroom of 30 fifth graders, ALL simultaneously engaged as they watch a screen. Yes, I know this doesn’t seem to be out of the ordinary—children watching a screen—but the conversation that takes place AFTER that is the GIFT.

Medium Shot: During the fourth grade program Minds In Motion, my students were exposed to the craft of storytelling as they learned to create their own animated shorts. That experience would ultimately serve as a pathway, enabling them to use their newly-taught skills to comfortably express themselves through images and sound as confident, independent thinkers. They now understand the impact and importance of Visual Literacy as an effective form of communication.

The volume of images children are exposed to every day is overwhelming, and at times confusing. The students clearly welcome Image, Sound, and Story, which teaches them how to confidently navigate this new reality. I am thrilled to see their immersion in Visual Literacy. My fifth Graders are more fully participating in the art of constructive conversation. They are showing a respect and appreciation for different points of view while knowing they can safely express themselves. This is, without question, a direct result of Image, Sound, and Story. Yes, they are learning, but they are also clearly and deeply enjoying this experience!

Close-Up: Here are a few of their honest, organic reactions to viewing Moments, one of Image, Sound, and Story’s curriculum videos.

"It was very exciting watching the video Moments because it showed other people’s lives and not just my own moments in life.”

"I can understand how an image, like the balloon the boy lets go expresses different kinds of feelings at the same time, like relief and sadness. I get it!” 

"Seeing different images can help me comprehend life.”

"I see the details in life now, like details in an image.”

"Understanding images is like understanding the purpose of a story, or life.” 

“I can see things from different perspectives.”

"Without learning from Minds in Motion and Image, Sound, and Story, I wouldn’t be able to visualize my thoughts. I am really happy now!"

Foreshadowing: Just as a life changing story stays with you forever, the gift of JBFC’s Education Programs will continue to shape the future as a game changer in education allowing children to become masters of Visual Literacy.

Tara O'Gorman is a fifth grade classroom teacher at Casimir Pulaski Elementary in Yonkers, NY. Tara brought the magic of the JBFC's Image, Sound, and Story media literacy curriculum to her classroom after participating in our Professional Development program. To learn more about Image, Sound, and Story and explore ways to introduce your students to the benefits of "viewing and doing," visit our Professional Development page HERE.