Northstar Explorations - Signs and Symbols

education Dec 5, 2019
Explorations are a part of Northstar's Integrated Exploratory Learning Approach. They are multiweek projects centered on a significant, relevant and global theme which kids explore with the educator and peers. The following exploration was undertaken by our learners of grades 3 and 4. The text has been written by exploration leads: Ms Saloni Rawal and Ms Kalyani Shah

Signs and Symbols

Humans live in a visually intensive society. They consciously and subconsciously always strive to make sense of their surrounding world through images, signs, symbols, gestures and icons. Knowing how essential visual communication can be, and with an aim to develop, demonstrate and enhance the visual literacy skills, our learners of Grades 3-4 explored the topic - "Signs and symbols are part of human made systems that facilitate local and global communication."

As a part of the launch, learners explored the concept of iconography, and its applications in different fields such as photography, paintings, religious iconography, architectural and structural design, graphic designing, advertising and cinema. Besides, the learners identified the areas where signs and symbols are used, learnt their differences, and its significance in visual communication. Lastly, they designed their own signs, symbols, and graphics with an aim to communicate their ideas/ messages clearly, creatively and persuasively.

For the deep dive stage, learners explored the fields of photography, religious iconography and graphic designing, where they were briefly acquainted with the elements of each field through expert lectures. They then demonstrated their ability to interpret, recognize, appreciate, and understand information presented through visible actions, objects, and symbols, by analyzing photos, graphics, religious signs, symbols, painting, and architecture.

For the coda stage, learners learnt the significance of specialized communication system and explored different specialized communication systems such as the Braille writing system, International Morse Code, American Sign Language, Signing Exact English, Pidgin Signed English, Tactile Communication, Baby Sign Language and Semaphore and showed its understanding and importance through role plays.