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Volume 51, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0034-527X
  • E-ISSN: 1943-2348


As theorization of multimodal text processes and productions continues to outpace classroom practices, research that contributes understandings of how composers are living out multimodal processes is needed. In response, we turn to thinking with theory (Jackson & Mazzei, 2012) as both a methodological and an analytic approach to understand how multimodal composing processes and products come to be. We provide strategic sketches (Leander & Boldt, 2013) focused on third graders “Efrain” and “Trinidad”, not aiming to display the data in a traditional sense, but instead to ask of ourselves, the data, and theory: What material intra-actions emerge among two young picture book makers? What social, cultural, and material worlds are performed in their final picture book productions? Thinking with theory and data was an effort to experience some of the moment-to-moment nuances of young children’s multimodal processes, to appreciate the lived social, cultural, and material realities animated in their picture books, and to develop sensitivities to the possibilities of the material turn in post-humanist studies for literacy research. The analytic questions produced point to the saliency of diverse literature as aesthetic inspirations for multimodal texts, and of improvisations with varied art tools and media as openings for multimodal processes. This paper advances previous related scholarship through strategic sketches that invite readers to experience the complexity and the cultural significance of the multimodal processes and products that emerge when classroom expectations of a proficient writer include the ability to improvise and become with diverse materials and meanings, not just to command “standardized written English.”


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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