I don’t think Sunday morning is the time to launch into a research project, but when I typed “Graphic Intelligence” into the title line, I wondered, “Is this a real thing?” A quick search in Google turned up a book with the title, “Graphic Intelligence: Possibilities for Assessment and Instruction” by Barrie Bennett. Looks like this is a book all about graphic organizers from the least complex to the most.
My use of the term is not related to graphic organizers. What I am questioning early this morning is the presence of an intelligence for graphics. Not the use of a graphic organizer. In my field of gifted education, I am always trying to think outside the box, away from constraints like graphic organizers and more toward creativity. Creative problem solving leads students to deeper thinking at a higher intelligence level. The revised version of Bloom’s taxonomy puts Creativity on the top rung. Create means to put elements together to form a coherent whole; reorganize into a new pattern or structure.
As I continue to explore writing about reading with an online group of teachers, I decided to try out using Canva to express my thoughts. Canva is a poster-making app. The site provides numurous images (many of which cost $1 to use). You can also upload your own image. I decided to use simple images and arrows. I don’t think my canva is a particulary brilliant construction, but I noted during the process that I had to synthesize my thoughts about the characters.
I could have used the well-used and time-tested Venn Diagram to compare the female characters. But if I give my students this tool, they don’t have to think beyond the comparison aspects. If I ask them to define characters in a new way using a graphic of their own making, I have now added the element of creativity to the assignment.
When I start working with my students in the next few weeks, I will show them the graphics I have made for response to reading. I hope to encourage and motivate them to try creative graphics to represent their thoughts about reading.
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