• Waikato

The Power of Picturebooks

Learn how picturebooks use a combination of images and text to depict social issues and reflect attitudes to languages.

1,579 enrolled on this course

Woman reads picturebook to a group of children sitting in a circle in a library setting. The woman points at the pictures and text while the children look on with apparent interest.

Discover how picturebooks reflect societal values

Picturebooks are powerful pedagogical resources in educational and home settings.

On this four-week course from The University of Waikato, you’ll be introduced to the history and characteristics of the picturebook format and how they depict societal values.

Develop your textual and visual analysis skills

You’ll explore the powerful combination of text and image, delving into the role that visual language can play in meaning-making.

Then, this course will guide you through the learning potential of the picturebook, specifically focusing on raising awareness of social issues, cultivating empathy, and working toward social justice.

Explore the importance of language hierarchies in bilingual picturebooks

Bilingual picturebooks reflect the status of languages in society and can be used to support awareness of languages and language learning. On this course, you’ll learn to analyse picturebooks by considering their purpose and audience.

Learn from education experts at The University of Waikato

Sitting among the top 3% of universities worldwide, The University of Waikato is committed to delivering a world-class education and research portfolio.

The two educators that will guide you through this course are both award-winning tertiary teachers who bring a strong background in both content and online pedagogy.

What topics will you cover?

  • An introduction to picturebooks and their history.
  • Picturebook illustrations and visual analysis.
  • Investigating languages in bilingual picturebooks.
  • Exploring social issues depicted in picturebooks

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe key features of picturebooks and their historical development
  • Identify and apply visual analysis techniques in picturebook illustrations
  • Investigate and discuss the presentation of languages in bilingual picturebooks
  • Reflect upon a range of social issues which are depicted in picturebooks

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers working across all levels of education. It may also be of interest to parents as well as authors and publishers working in children’s literature.

What software or tools do you need?

For this course, you’ll be invited to gather a range of picturebooks, either in print and/or ebook format.

Who will you learn with?

I am a sociolinguist who teaches children's literature to tertiary learners. I have a particular interest in multilingual picturebooks.

I work in teacher education and digital learning at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. I am an online learning enthusiast, and an experienced teacher.

Who developed the course?

The University of Waikato

Sitting among the top 3% of universities world-wide, The University of Waikato prepares students to think critically and to show initiative in their learning.

  • Established

  • Location

    Waikato, New Zealand
  • World ranking

    Top 380Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Buy this course


One-off payment

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Join with limited access


Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 4 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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