Visual Literacy Skills for Students and Teachers

Tell Me With a Graphic          

We often ask students to communicate their learning visually, but we don’t always provide them with the graphic design tools they need to create an effective message. In this workshop we’ll explore Google Drawings as a tool to create a poster while learning basic visual literacy and graphic design skills good for administrators, teachers, and students alike. Join me on my mission to eradicate bad design. You’ll need a laptop to use the full functionality of Google Drawings.

Choose one of the following posters to experiment with. Go to File / Make a copy to make your own copy.
Or create something else. Need inspiration? Start here.

Posters to experiment with

Please share

Add a screenshot of your creation to this shared Google presentation.


Is it important to teach these graphic design skills to students?

For your reference, here are some standards that address visual literacy.

More resources
Viewing Map of Development and Viewing Resource Book from the Western Australia Department of Education


Tips and Tricks

Advice for elementary teachers

  • Make things step by step.
  • Always give choices, BUT (see next bullet point)
  • Limit options (only 3 colors, shape has to be at least this size, etc.) Increase options with age.
  • Always limit font to two...regardless of age.
  • Talk about repetition and contrast. (Consider leaving out proximity and alignment.)
  • Relate repetition to math.
  • Model the language - teach the vocabulary and use it.
  • Think of non digital ways you can practice these concepts.
  • You know your what you think is best for them.
This rubric is a work in progress to help teachers assess design work. Click image to open.