In Pictures and In Words - Chapter 7

I am still loving this book and reading everyone's posts that go along with the book study!

In Chapter 7, Ray begins discussing different illustration techniques and how we can teach these to our little ones. In this chapter, she focuses on ideas and content. One of her points that we can relay to our students is that, "Illustrators, just like writers, have to have and develop good ideas for their illustrations." This is so important for me to get across to my children!
For each illustration technique in the chapter, she follows the same pattern when discussing:
-Something to notice
-An illustration example
-An understanding for young writers and illustrators
-An idea for trying it out
-A writing connection

I really enjoyed going through the chapter and learning more about each technique ( I love professional reading when I learn new things as well!!). There are 12 techniques in this chapter and I so wish I had some examples to give you of each one, but I can't get to my books and it's driving me crazy!! I've added notes on a few of the techniques.

Technique 1: Crafting with distance perspective - Ray tells us that our goal in this technique is to "help children realize that how large or small they draw something in a picture matters to how close or far away it seems from the reader."

Technique 2: Crafting with positioning perspective - Discuss with children how the different positions of central images in the books we read vary and how they affect the story that is being told.

Technique 3: Crafting the background - We need to teach children what background means and help them to see how having a lot or a little bit of background affects the story.

Technique 4: Showing two sides of a physical space - We can help children see that when both sides or areas of a space are shown in an illustration, it can affect the overall feeling of an illustration and/or book.

Technique 5: Using different scenes to show different actions - Illustrations can show actions that aren't necessarily written in the words of a page (For example, "The friends played together." could be written, but the illustration could show multiple boxes with different pictures of the kids playing various games.)

Technique 6: Using scenes to capture the passage of time  - When an illustrator uses this technique, we need to be careful to make sure it is very clear to students that the multiple pictures on a page are showing a passage of time and not things that are happening all in the same day.

Technique 7: Using scenes to show movement through different places

Technique 8: Using scenes as a list

Technique 9: Showing, not telling - This is one technique that I have actually used with my students before. We are always talking about adding details so that our readers can really see what we're trying to tell.

Technique 10: Crafting a backstory - In this technique, Ray gives the example of student writing a story about tractors. Even though the book is about tractors, his illustrations show a farmer and his dog doing farm work. They are not mentioned in the words, but are part of the story.

Technique 11: Manipulating point of view for effect

Technique 12: Seeing through the eyes of the narrator - In order for students to use this technique, Ray suggests that we need to give them a strong sense of the ways a narrator brings his or her perspective to the story.  One book that I can think of in my collection that would be a good example of this technique (along with #2) is Hey, Little Ant. The story alternates between a boy and an ant speaking and giving reasons why the boy should or should not step on the ant. Depending on who is speaking, the illustrations are different (and the kids love this book!).

I can't wait to read more about the techniques and really figure out how I will teach them to my sweet kiddos that usually come in drawing people with their legs and arms coming out of their heads!!

To read more, be sure to head over to Mrs. Wills blog and read the other blog posts :) Be sure to comment, because you could win a gift card to The Clever School Teacher! Thanks Mrs. Wills for my gift card I won last week...I used it the same day I got it! The site is so nice because you can look up books according to Katie Wood Ray's techniques, CCSS, reading strategies and much more!


  1. Hey Momma . . . Merry 4th to you :)

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  2. Thank you for linking up chick-a-dee! Maybe you will be lucky twice!

  3. Thank you soooo much for sharing the techniques and explanations!!! I don't have a personal copy of this resource yet, but after reading your post I ordered one right away:-)


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