Susan V. Bosak author of Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes www.dreamstorybook.com recently shared her Literacy in Nashville, TN at Borders Bookstore. Dream is a multilayered book richly illustrated by 15 top illustrators. Susan demonstrated many different literacy techniques to enable listeners of all ages to appreciate this book.
What do Susan V. Bosak mean by multilayered? There are 4 interrelated layers:
1) the story text with metaphors, poetic language yet a simple message
2) the illustrations with each style selected for a given state of life
3) historical quotations chosen as "echoes across time" and which don’t always agree (to make you think)
4) a series of digital images for the page backgrounds with each life stage associated with a different color
Each layer tells a story within the story.
Want to teach visual literacy? There is a Dream CD available that includes all the illustrations in a Powerpoint slide show that you can use as you read the story.
Even better, there are slides to enhance the activity "From Zoom To Across The Room" to the story so that you can experience the art at four levels:
from far away basic shapes and colors
the medium (artist’s techniques in illustrating)
There is a list in the back of the book detailing each artist’s medium and creation.
For attending the workshop I received an Activity Kit, a flashing I’m a Dreamer pin, information for K-2 sharing, information for counselors to share, and an evening of great quotations on life from historical personages. I also have copious notes on The Top Ten Ways to Encourage Literacy after six decades of research, a list of WHY PICTURE BOOKS to convince teachers of older students to incorporate picture books, and a new example of how we explore words, pictures, and meaning deeply enough that we then branch out to build tunnels of connections to self, others, and the world.
Susan shared her 4 Questions for Visual Thinking Strategies:
1) What’s going on in the illustration?
2) What do you see that makes you say that?
3) What more can we find?
4) Where is the hidden star?
Aha! A puzzle. There is a hidden star on every page. Each time you find one, you have to make a new wish. You’ll be hooked trying to find them all. As Susan says, this book has emotive value and is educational.
Hello, Frist Center in Nashville, could you please be the first host of this art in the U.S.? We’ll come see it. Hurry before some other city finds out and contacts Susan and her assistant Billy.
Wait! There was still much more to the workshop. We discussed Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Yes, outside of college class we related each stage with this book.
We explored the intergenerational aspects of literacy. We defined character and brainstormed big concepts. The CD contains the software to enable you to insert your students in the Club of Dreamers. We even involved the whole body with our chant, "I’m a dreamer, yes I am!"
Are you a dreamer? Go check out Susan’s website and see if you can attend one of her free workshops in your area. All of the teachers, librarians, and special education teachers that I spoke with confessed that before the workshop they were tired from teaching all day, grumpy, and wondering what they had signed up for. Each admitted they were energized, refreshed and grateful for the invitation at the end. Don’t miss your chance to go Dream.
What’s next for Susan and the Legacy Project? Well, there are contests and activities available online, plus the original art is being sent around the continent as part of a Dream Display.
I love the illustration of the Dream Chest. It reminds me of a hope chest I saw as a young 4-H’er. I always wanted a cedar chest to start saving treasures for my new home someday as a bride. I never received a hope chest, but I still dream!