Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

You Talking to Me?

Ham, Catherine (Author)
Quarto 2017. 96 pages
First published: 2017
ISBN: 9781633221550 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 302
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

dialogue, figurative language, language conventions, layout, multimodal

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

From smoke signals to hieroglyphics, hand gestures to rattlesnakes, this comprehensive look at communication is written in easy-to-understand language. In the section “Finding Our Voices,” we learn that it began with our ancestral grunts and gestures, which gradually morphed into speech: “Once we started speaking, there was no stopping us.”

The illustrations, both digital and watercolour, serve as an accompaniment to the text. One page portrays cave drawings and ancient scripts in pale yellow. Another page, on body language, shows abstract watercolour sketches of people waiting in line beside the heading, “Fidgety Feet.” Their expressions betray as much impatience as their shifting feet. The palette and style vary, depending on the text and the culture represented.

The text is simple but full of facts: “Tibetans put out their tongues a little as a greeting;” “hand shaking has a very long history, and probably was used to prove someone didn’t have a weapon.” Cultural specificities are addressed, including hand gestures that are appropriate in some cultures but insulting in others. One page delves into the practice of tattooing, scarification and body painting. Finally, examples from the animal world are given, including eyespots, bright colours, bioluminescence and other forms of nonverbal communication.

  •  Discuss how languages are created. What languages are you able to name?
  •  

    Choose some information that captures your imagination and create an informational text (a poster or short video) to inform your classmates.

  •  

    Experiment with communicating in some of the codes. Which ones seem more efficient in which situation? Create a graph to show your findings.

  •  

    Explore and discuss the many types of codes. Decide on ways to sort them (in alphabetical order, or by sounds, visuals, age of use, etc.). Create a mind map on the subject.

  •  

    Try speaking the made-up language called Pig Latin ( aka: ig-Pay atin-Lay) by moving the consonant/cluster from the start of a word to the end, and adding -ay. Hello = ello-hay; sport = ort-sp-ay. Try writing and saying a sentence to a friend.

  •  

    Choose some interesting information and create an info-bit in the form of a poster or short video.

  •  

    Experiment with communicating in some of the codes. Which ones seem more efficient in which situation? Create a graph to show your findings.

  •  

    Explore and discuss the many types of codes. Decide on ways to sort them (in alphabetical order, or by sounds, visuals, age of use, etc.). Create a mind map on the subject.

  •  How do you believe language and communication originated in humans? In a group of three or four, discuss how and why you believe our ancestors began communicating. What forms did the communication take? What have you seen or heard about early human language? How does this contrast with how people communicate today?
  •  As you read, take note of specific content that you find particularly interesting and would like to learn more about. Do further research at the end.
  •  In a small group, create a web page showcasing the book and its most relevant content. Be sure to include text and images at the very least. You may also add audio or video.
  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To solve problems
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Media Literacy
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Social Sciences