Plays and illustrations

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Information about Plays and illustrations

Published on March 11, 2014

Author: isabelpinto42



The relationship between children's plays and illustrations is a very convenient one in terms of developing the high order functions of reading. The combination of illustrations with drama makes way for an embodied learning experience.

8 T H I N T E R N AT I O N A L T E C H N O L O G Y, E D U C AT I O N A N D D E V E L O P M E N T C O N F E R E N C E CHILDREN’S PLAYS AND ILLUSTRATIONS: EMBODIMENT RESOURCES FOR READING PRACTICES Valencia 10th - 12th March 2014 Isabel Pinto (CECC, UCP) Arcângela Carvalho (ESE Almeida Garrett)


GOALS  Enlightening the role played by illustrations in the reading of plays as means to an improved meaning assessment.  Driving a new range of clues for constructing textual meaning, through embodied reading practices.  Arguing for the relevance of “embodied cognition” and “embodied pedagogy” as core concepts.

MAIN ARGUMENT The relationship between drama and illustration, through imitation and gesture, is a promising one in terms of reading achievements, at the level of textual interpretation.

THE PLAYS  Teatro às Três Pancadas [Theatre with Three Punches] (2013), by António Torrado, and illustrated by António Pilar, read at the 4th grade;  O Príncipe Nabo [The Turnip Prince] (2000), by Ilse Losa, and illustrated by Manuela Bacelar, read at the 5th grade;  Os Piratas [The Pirates] (1997), by Manuel António Pina, read at the 6th grade.

PLAY Os Piratas [The Pirates], Manuel António Pina 1997, p. 47

OS PIRATAS [THE PIRATES] The plot: two teenagers, Manuel and Ana, and Manuel’s mother, are caught up in a time thread, with events from the past interfering with the present in such a way as to make dream and reality collide. The illustrations are scenery and costume sketches, helping the reader pull together on his own a setting and a mood for the plot.

PLAY O Príncipe Nabo [The Turnip Prince], Ilse Losa 2000, p.31

O PRÍNCIPE NABO [THE TURNIP PRINCE] The plot: the king wishes to find a prince to marry his daughter princess Beatriz. But she mocks all the princes that want to marry her. As a result, she will end up marrying the first man entering the palace. The illustrations in bright colors depict scenery arrangements, constantly alluding to the puppet theatre, thus underlining the power of “make believe”.

PLAY A Raposa e o Corvo [The Fox and the Raven] in Teatro às Três Pancadas [Theatre with Three Punches], António Torrado 2012, p. 41

TEATRO ÀS TRÊS PANCADAS [THEATRE WITH THREE PUNCHES] The book contains seven short plays that, according to the author himself, aim at satisfying teachers’ needs of appropriate plays for school staging. The illustrations add something of its own to the play, giving a number of clues and hints concerning the staging process.

DRAMATIZING ILLUSTRATION An intervention was conducted, namely an interview, comprising different phases, in a school in the Lisbon area, with two students from the 4th grade of primary school, about two illustrations of O Príncipe Nabo [The Turnip Prince]. First, the students described the picture. Then, they were told to enact what the illustration depicted. After that, they would read the corresponding passage of the play.

RESULTS Combining illustrations and plays prompts readers, mainly those in the first stages of reading development, to engage in a first imaginary staging of the plot, additionally promoting textual interpretation and analysis. At school illustrated plays make reading a matter of performance, nourishing the complex relationship between textual clues and the reader’s prior knowledge of the world.

FINAL REMARKS  The enactment of illustrations, through improvisation, functioned as a first opportunity to collect meaningful clues for the reading of the text. Embodied resources for reading practices rely on: (a) the distinctive features of plays when compared with other genres, and (b) taking learning as a necessarily embodied experience .

REFERENCES  Fang, Zhihui (1996). “Illustrations, Text, and the Child Reader: What are Pictures in Children’s Storybooks for?”. Reading Horizons, Vol. 37, N.º 2, 130-142.  Hassett, Dawnene D.; Curwood, Jen Scott (2009). “Theories and Practices of Multimodal Education: The Instructional Dynamics of Picture Books and Primary Classrooms”. The Reading Teacher, 63(4), 270–282.

REFERENCES  Perry, Mia; Medina, Carmen (2011). “Embodiment and Performance in Pedagogy Research: Investigating the Possibility of the Body in Curriculum Experience”. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Vol. 27, N.º 3, 62-75.  Pinto, I. (2009). Leitura do Texto de Teatro: Teoria, Prática e Análise. Dissertação de doutoramento, na especialidade de Estudos de Teatro, apresentada à Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa.

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