Resource 3 - By Katie McKnight

Two environmental advertisements to be used to explore visual grammar.

external image lowegreenpeace5kb9_0.preview.jpg

external image Greenpeace-bear_thumb.jpg

Resource description and rationale:

These two images are advertisements created by Green Peace to promote awareness of environmental sustainability. The first is a photographic image of an underwater reef, surrounded by tropical fish, with oxygen masks falling from out of shot. The slogan says, “Just continue to breathe normally. After all, you’re not a fish,” alluding to the issue of low-oxygen levels in the world’s oceans caused by human use of toxic chemicals. The second image is a side-angle shot of a bear, standing on a sheet of ice that has broken off and is drifting in the water. Although the bear is presumably a polar bear, with a white head, feet and lower body, its back is brown, and appears to be melting away like ice. Also, the glow from the sun is radiating out from behind the bear, which, combined with the ‘melting polar bear’, brings to the fore the issue of global warming. The content of these images relates specifically to the HSIE focus outcome for this unit, ENS2.6, in that they explore the impact humans are having on natural environments and wildlife. The visual aspects of the texts are also significant, as they allow students to explore the different features of visual texts, and the different ways in which authors can use them to create and alter meaning within a text. In particular, the interactive and compositional aspects of the two texts provide opportunities for students to clearly analyse the ways in which images can be designed to convey meaning. Callow (2006, pp.7-8) suggests that, given the increasingly visual nature of our global and technology based cultures, the role of images is particularly salient. As visual and multimodal texts become more prevalent within the information age, young learners must be equipped with the skills necessary to effectively view, decode and analyse such texts (Unsworth, 2001, p.71). By utilizing these resources to allow students to interact with them in meaningful ways, we are giving them the chance to develop some of the vital skills and understandings they will need as they continue through school and into the future.


Callow, J. (2006). Images, politics and miltiliteracies: using a visual metalanguage. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 29(1), 7-23.

Unsworth, L. (2001). Teaching multiliteracies across the curriculum: changing contexts of text and image in classroom practice. Buckingham, England: Open University. (Chapter 3: Designing Visual Literacies. Pp.71-112)