Richness of children’s narratives

There is a tendency in education to think of children’s narratives or creative narrative or visual narrative purely as a verbal element or verbal communication, either spoken or written (Wright, 2011). However focus on the ‘visual narrative related to children’s drawings, [images or photographs] emphasizes and offers the richness of the accompanying interactions as children tell and act out the underlying stories’ (Wright, 2011, p.8). Young people can visualize as well as articulate, as well as depict. Children can represent ‘people, places, objects and events…told through graphic action – mark making that depicts ideas and feelings on paper n real time’ (Wright, 2011, p.158).    The young persons combination of visual and verbal content interactively present a message through both ‘denotation and connotation’, with such ‘crossing over of modes is what makes visual narrative such a powerful medium for children’s communication of ideas and expression of feelings’.(p.161). Structurally a visual narrative is spontaneous. It unfolds over time and moves between loose themes, in whatever order or sequence they evolve for the child communicating their experiences. The ‘content and structure of young children’s narratives are often different in important ways from that which typically engages adults’ (Wright, 2011, p.162). This looseness is often referred to as configurational signs, that signs that are ever changing. As a new concept develops a child may go back, re-engage with and revisit a photograph, image or visual to further add to and explain their experiences, feelings, ideas and connections.

What do you think?


Wright, S. (2011). Meaning mediation and mythology. (pp157-176). In Faulkner, F. & Coates, E. (Eds.). Exploring Children’s Creative Narratives. New York: Taylor & Francis.


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