This summer I spent nine weeks in our reading center working with pre-service teachers who tutor struggling readers and writers. I love the work but what struck me was how effective visual art supports were.
One student A.S. was a student headed for second grade but having significant delays in achievement and some challenging behaviors to boot. The most challenge was getting A.S. To write. We were lucky to get more than a short sentence. I then suggested starting with a drawing. Now A.S. was more easily engaged, persisted, produced a picture, contributed significant oral language about the picture but still wrote very little. Finally we decided to insist on details during the art creation. In addition we modeled a questioning technique that exposed A.S. to ways of generating text. This time his writing filled a page and was full of detail and interest.
I truly belive that for young writers this link is foundamental and will help all writers do well- as we have seen in our work in Arts LINC.