Reading the Visual Message

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This lesson is devoted to reading visual messages and developing the skills needed to analyse photographs and cartoons as forms of communication. An interview with the Sunday Times picture editor introduces learners to the visual elements of the newspaper and explains how these images are created, selected and used in the publication. A portion of the lesson is spent on cartoons as another form of conveying ideas visually. We also talk about how cartoons express opinions and the role of satire and humour in communicating ideas. Learners are introduced to the idea that the humour is dependent on recognising characters, references and contexts. After you have shown this lesson, it would be worth having a few copies of a newspaper such as the Sunday Times available. This would enable learners to find examples of the visual elements of newspapers discussed in this lesson, to see them in context, and to practise analysing them.
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