Activity Types: Iconic Writing

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What is Iconic Writing?

There are many types of iconic writing, the use of icons or graphics to represent words in the paragraph or written piece. Iconic writing includes rebus writing, pictograms, pictographs, cuneiform, and hieroglyphs.The Wikipedia differentiates between these types of writing this way:

A pictogram or pictograph is a symbol representing a concept, object, activity, place or event by illustration. Pictography is a form of writing whereby ideas are transmitted through drawing. It is the basis of cuneiform (early Sumerian form of pictograph writing) and hieroglyphs (pictograph writing found in early civilizations such as Egyptian or Mayan).

A rebus is a kind of word puzzle which uses pictures to represent words or parts of words.

Advantages for use in the classroom:

  • Pictures are substituted for harder words young students cannot yet identify or decode.

  • Using pictures to write helps students express thoughts even before they can spell or write words

  • Encourages use of words for imagery and vocabulary development

Disadvantages for use in the classroom:

  • ClipArt used to create writing may be limited

Examples:

 

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Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)


Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction
jburson@mail.utexas.edu