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STORY in Storying Studio

By Prisca Martens, Ph.D., Towson University

STORY in Storying Studio stands as a verb as well as a noun. In addition to being a narrative, story/storying as verbs mean to compose by weaving together meanings in writing and art as in picturebooks. Children don’t write and illustrate; rather, they story. Story as a verb refers to the multimodal process of composing meaning in writing and art.

story in storying studio, Marcie
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READ in Storying Studio

By Prisca Martens, Ph.D., Towson University

When children read in Storying Studio, they learn that readers not only read written text, they read art. They consider how/why artists make particular decisions about color, shape, etc., similar to how/why authors make particular decisions about word choice, sentence structure, etc., when writing written text. We create text sets around particular themes, topics, or art concepts on which the teachers want to focus in the minilessons.

read in storying studio
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Storying Studio: Drawing Stories, Writing Pictures

By Prisca Martens, PhD, Towson University

storying studioPicturebooks convey stories in both written text and pictorial text (art), with both texts being essential to telling the story (Kiefer, 1995; Sipe, 1998). The art has meanings or perspectives not offered in the written text just as the written text has meanings/perspectives not available in the art. When no written text is present, the story is told only through the art. Typically these books are referred to as wordless books. My co-researcher Ray Martens, an artist and art educator, however, calls them pictorial books to emphasize the importance of the art in telling the story rather than identify these books as lacking words. Continue reading

Exploring and Experiencing: My Name Is Sangoel

by Prisca Martens, Towson University

This month we’ve been looking closely at how the art and written text in picturebooks work together to convey meaning and exploring how to help children experience the full richness in picturebooks by reading both. This week we’ll examine how Jenna Loomis read My Name Is Sangoel, written by Karen Lynn Williams (2009) and Khandra Mohammed and illustrated by Catherine Stock, with her first graders.
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Exploring and Experiencing: Sebastian’s Roller Skates

by Prisca Martens, Towson University

This month in WOW Currents we’re exploring how to help children read the art and written texts in picturebooks, Picturebooks are “a unique art object, a combination of image and idea that allows the reader to come away with more than the sum of the parts” (Kiefer, 1995, p. 6). In our work we’re helping children read the art and think like artists to support them in experiencing the full richness and meanings in picturebooks (Martens, 2012). This week we’ll explore how Laura Fuhrman helped her first graders read and experience the art and written text in Sebastian’s Roller Skates, Continue reading

Exploring and Experiencing: Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match

by Prisca Martens, Towson University

Picturebooks are “text, illustrations, total design; …As an art form [they hinge] on the interdependence of pictures and words, on the simultaneous display of two facing pages, and on the drama of the turning of the page” (Bader, 1976, p. 1). This week we continue our exploration of helping children read the art and written texts in picturebooks by seeing how Michelle Doyle shares the richness in Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match, written by Monica Brown (2011) and illustrated by Sara Palacios, with her first graders. In the story, Marisol, as others see her, is a mismatch of things that don’t make sense. Continue reading

Exploring & Experiencing the Art in Picturebooks

by Prisca Martens, Towson University

InvisibleFor the past several years I’ve been in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms exploring how helping children learn and experience the concepts and language of art that artists use to create illustrations in picturebooks relate to the children’s own reading, writing, and art. My co-researchers are Ray Martens and a number of classroom teachers who graciously invite us into their classrooms to learn and explore with them and their students. We are working together on this because of our mutual passion for picturebooks and our understanding that for children to experience the full richness the books offer, they need to read the art as well as the written text. Continue reading