It didn't take me long to determine where to go with my visual literacy understandings. My Theory of Knowledge (ToK) students and I are about to embark on a trip to ToK Examiner's Land. This is a distant location and requires serious considerations of what to pack—the critical supplies that will be needed to stand up to the Examiners when they meet the students. The Examiners in this cas will be meeting the students through via carefully-crafted essays. The Examiners will judge the students as worthy or not of passing into their land. Without the proper carry-ons and critical equipment, all could be lost at sea. Unpacking, analyzing supplies and creating a special designer bag are required.
We might consider climbing the mountain with the proper equipment. If we meet that challenge, we might set to go to the more distant Examiner's Land. We'll look closely at our supplies first to ensure that they pass inspection. We'll ensure success with proper rest, the right shoes to remain on track, a good GPS so we don't get lost, water to keep us hydrated, a support group just in case we get into trouble, and good communication with our authorities.
To get to the more literal understanding here, my Course 3 Project will allow me and my students to do this essay as prescribed by IB. Once I played with the packing/ climbing a mountain metaphor, I could quickly scribble down the corresponding graphics. I have this all on paper right now, and with the Course Project description, I was able to add the detail I'll need to design a set of graphics, pictures and flow charts to correspond to the metaphor. Actually, the IB examiners do use the packing metaphor for what they call 'unpacking' the Prescribed Titles (questions) the students have to undertake. I just extended it a bit further. Here's the set from this year—a quick overview of these will show how 'unpacking' is essential!
I foresee a chunk of time being needed to design the visuals for this undertaking, however, the argument that I have to take time to set up the unit anyway is a convincing one. Also, it is more fun in some ways... I may as well follow what science does say is an enhanced way to learn—by using visuals—and give it a try. And, the best way to evaluate the project, once again, will be to ask the students. But there will be another way to verify success this time—to see which students make it to Examiner's Land and back!