A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

In Pictures and In Words

Teaching the Qualities of Good Writing Through Illustration Study

Katie Wood Ray

ISBN 978-0-325-02855-2 / 0-325-02855-9 / 2010 / 280pp / Paperback
Imprint: Heinemann
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: PreK - 4th
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Make abstract qualities like tone, detail, and organization easily visible for young writers with Katie Wood Ray’s In Pictures and in Words.

“If teachers show children how an illustrator’s decisions about pictures are a lot like a writer’s decisions about words, they form a bridge of understanding that nurtures children as writers.”

---Katie Wood Ray


Katie (beloved author of About the Authors and Already Ready) begins with a strong, classroom-based research foundation for this powerful, intuitive idea. She then suggests 50 ways you might use illustrations to help students internalize key aspects of craft through their love of picture books.

In Pictures and in Words is filled with sample student work that documents how children’s thinking deepens as they explore illustrations. Katie even includes full-color pages of published illustrations with examples of sticky-notes that show the kinds of links students can make between pictures and words.

Give children an engaging way to make the qualities of good writing part of everything they write, for life. Find out how Katie Ray can help you do it when you read In Pictures and In Words.

I. Illustration Study as a Foundation for Strong Writing

1. Why Illustration Study Matters to the Development of Young Writers

2. Building Stamina for Writing by Supporting Children’s Work as Illustrators

3. Writing and Illustrating as Parallel Composing Processes

4. Teaching an Essential Habit of Mind: Reading Like Writers in the Context of Illustration Study

5. Learning Qualities of Good Writing From Illustration Techniques

6. The Writing Workshop: Planning and Implementing a Unit of Study in Illustrations

II. 50 Illustration Techniques and the Qualities of Good Writing They Suggest: A Predictable Framework

7. Ideas and Content, In Pictures and In Words

TECHNIQUE 1 Crafting with distance perspective

TECHNIQUE 2 Crafting with positioning perspective

TECHNIQUE 3 Crafting the background

TECHNIQUE 4 Showing two sides of a physical space

TECHNIQUE 5 Using scenes to show different actions

TECHNIQUE 6 Using scenes to capture the passage of time

TECHNIQUE 7 Using scenes to show movement through different places

TECHNIQUE 8 Using scenes as a list

TECHNIQUE 9 Showing, not telling

TECHNIQUE 10 Crafting a “back-story”

TECHNIQUE 11 Manipulating point-of-view for effect

TECHNIQUE 12 Seeing through the eyes of a narrator

8. Precision and Detail, In Pictures and In Words

TECHNIQUE 13 Crafting details of expression and gesture

TECHNIQUE 14 Crafting physical details of characters

TECHNIQUE 15 Revealing character with background details

TECHNIQUE 16 Crafting details from the world of nature

TECHNIQUE 17 Showing the effects of weather on a scene

TECHNIQUE 18 Crafting details from the world of people

TECHNIQUE 19 Using authentic, object-specific details

TECHNIQUE 20 Creating the illusion of motion with detail

TECHNIQUE 21 Creating the illusion of sound with details

TECHNIQUE 22 Using details as en element of surprise

9. Wholeness of Text, In Pictures and In Words

TECHNIQUE 23 Keeping static details consistent

TECHNIQUE 24 Making seemingly insignificant details reappear

TECHNIQUE 25 Building meaning from one idea to the next

TECHNIQUE 26 Crafting an ending that returns to the lead

TECHNIQUE 27 Crafting artful repetition

TECHNIQUE 28 Crafting an ending that pulls multiple text elements together

TECHNIQUE 29 Moving back and forth across a landscape

TECHNIQUE 30 Using details of light to show the passage of time

TECHNIQUE 31 Using details of weather to show the passage of time

10. Tone, In Pictures and In Words

TECHNIQUE 32 Crafting tone with color

TECHNIQUE 33 Shifting tone by shifting color

TECHNIQUE 34 Crafting tone with background color

TECHNIQUE 35 Crafting tone with size

TECHNIQUE 36 Crafting tone with physical space

TECHNIQUE 37 Crafting tone with shape and texture

TECHNIQUE 38 Accentuating or exaggerating features to impact tone

TECHNIQUE 39 Using whimsical detail to lighten the tone

11. Layout and Design, In Pictures and In Words

TECHNIQUE 40 Designing the placement of words and pictures

TECHNIQUE 41 Using word layout to convey meaning

TECHNIQUE 42 Using size and color to convey meaning

TECHNIQUE 43 Designing print to convey meaning

TECHNIQUE 44 Designing a cover

TECHNIQUE 45 Designing end pages to convey meaning

TECHNIQUE 46 Using borders

TECHNIQUE 47 Using the space implied outside a picture

TECHNIQUE 48 Using visual elements in the white space around words and pictures

TECHNIQUE 49 Using paper artifacts as visual elements

TECHNIQUE 50 Using graphic features to show information

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“In a marvelous new book, In Pictures and in Words, Katie Wood Ray shows how picture book illustrations can be used to teach students important concepts about writing. The value of this book for primary teachers will be self-evident, but upper grade teachers will also find invaluable ideas on how to reach a range of craft elements including setting, focus, point of view, the general vs. specific, showing vs. telling, just to name a few. I cannot think of a book on teaching writing written from such a fresh, new perspective. This is a must read!”

—Ralph Fletcher

Coauthor of Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide and Craft Lessons



“Reading the excerpt made me realize that I'm much more of a ‘transition to print as soon as possible’ teacher. This looks like one of those paradigm-shifting books that I must have.”

—stretchberry, 6/4/2010




“Katie Wood Ray's latest book, In Pictures and In Words: Teaching the Qualities of Good Writing Through Illustration Study is hot off the presses. If you're like me, you devour Katie's writing. If you're like me, your thinking is stretched in new and interesting ways as you read her latest work. If you're like me, you value Katie's work because at the end of the day, she is first and foremost a writer. And, from whom do we learn to teach writing from most effectively...from a fellow writer!”

Patrick Allen, author of Conferring


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