Storytelling and Making
Illuminated Images (Glen Bull and Natasha Heny)
Animation Machines (Glen Bull, Sheila Cochran, and Golara Haghtalab)
The makerspaces in schools, libraries and museums provide new capabilities for fabrication of manipulatives. Makerspace tools such as die cutters, 3D printers, and laser cutters are being used to create flannel boards, flipbooks, and dioramas.
Teachers use manipulatives to help students visualize, comprehend, and express new concepts and relationships. Strong visualization and imagery skills are aspects of fluency with symbols. Advanced language and literacy skills depend on underlying symbolic abilities like sequencing, main idea, inferencing and the ability to form accurate mental pictures in response to what is heard or read.
At every level of language and literacy development, anchoring new content – concepts, stories, cultural knowledge – in visual symbols, not just words, can help learners grasp and remember it. This pairing of words with pictures and objects is also fun – it is why we have television, not just radio.