Takayoshi and Selfe recommend teaching multimodality through the creation of multimodal compositions, but in order to do that, a teacher should also bring to students’ attention how to create multimodal texts. This could be through a simple exercise, which utilizes basic visual analysis. The above image is a Tagxedo or a word art photo that uses a computer algorithm to analyze and prioritize words into specified dimensions. It is an excellent example of multimodality that could be used within a classroom to help students understand the power of images and colors in addition to text–and students can then use the website to create their own.
To begin with, this image is one that combines text into art. This demonstrates a crossing of lines of visual art and written text, introducing students to the idea that visual imagery and color can function as persuasive pieces of rhetoric. This image is fascinating because it would give students the opportunity to look for meaning using the text, color, and shape.
In this example, the text the image creates is of Frida Kahlo, a famous artist. It is generated by an algorithm on the website, and the text used appears to have been taken from a Wikipedia website (given the inclusion of keywords like http, com, and Wikipedia). Other prominent words appear pointing to her identity and life work—words like Mexican, Mexico, paintings are in a larger, more prominent font. The color choices are earth-based—green, red, and brown—which are often included in Kahlo’s paintings. The outline itself does not include Kahlo’s iconic eyebrow, which makes me believe that perhaps it was created from an image of her as a younger woman, or the algorithm could not recognize that as a necessary part of the outline. Another interesting visual within this is the outline includes her hair, presumably tied up to the side in a bun, which is how she represents herself within her own paintings.