Visual/Emotional Responses x 2

Again, I had my preservice teachers collaborate to create visuals that portrayed emotional connections to “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros–a short text about a young girl who experiences her eleventh birthday with hurt and pain as she is wrongly accused (by the teacher and a few classmates) of leaving a raggedy red sweater too long in the cloakroom. The short story is powerful–so much so that invariably a few of my students choose to use this short text with various strategic teaching lessons in their field classrooms.

Here are the visuals they created from “Eleven,” and the link below is to my post of last spring–amazing how art can reveal what words cannot.

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When Visuals are Just Right…

The text, “Eleven,” can be found in the following collection of short stories by Sandra Cisneros..available on Amazon or BN, or your favorite online resource: Unknown

She also has a fabulous website


Around the World in Nine Photos

This is the second set of ‘Round the World Photos I have reblogged. What writing possibilities they offer!! ENJOY!

The Blog

Do you love stories from around the world? Check out the work of the following nine photographers on and allow your imagination to take you away…

Nathanael‘s monochrome photo of the Star Lite Motel in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, conjures images of wayward romances and clandestine meetings. We loved the marquee’s message, “Forgive and forget its human to err.” (sic) which offers an almost haunting absolution. For more of Nathanael’s work, check out his blog, G’Nat’s Eye View.

Photo by Nathanael Photo by P. Nathanael Gough

The image below, by UK photographer Andy Hooker, had us at hello. We love how the sign matches the woman’s red coat and how her right leg is in crisp focus just as her stride reaches the “h” above her head. Check out more of Andy’s work at LensScaper.

Photo by Andy Hooker Photo by Andy Hooker

Bao Pham‘s photo of this

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…More on Sensory representation of short text

Interpreting text through sensory images provides a rich experience for readers. Last semester preservice teacher students worked in small groups to create a visual representation of the short, powerful text we were working through: “Salvador, Late or Early” by Sandra Cisneros. If you know this text about a young boy too soon with the responsibilities of an adult, too soon to leave childhood though yet a child, too late to be care and worry free, you can see how deeply my students connected through these visuals. The visuals reveal understanding of the reading comprehension strategies we focus on: inferring, determining what is important, making connections…..this semester’s group will create a team visual interpretation of “Eleven,” another Cisneros text. Expression through the arts is as critical as verbal-linguistic expression. 

Below the visuals I’ll post images of my to go-to Cisneros books. 

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(Note: Be selective with Woman Hollering Creek and Vintage Cisneros. Some content too mature for middle graders)

Artist’s Toolkit

The Artist’s Toolkit is an interactive website that focuses on all elements of art, and fun along with learning. It features an artist’s palette and the rest is left to your imagination and play. All of the arts support writing—learning the basic elements of the visual arts can add wonderful layers to student writing work.

Check it out and play at: