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Indexical signs

Indexical signs: drawing attention to, pointing to or indicating something, e.g., arrows.


Max was 2 years and 11 months and this example

was the first in a series of his narrative. Max was

 fascinated by ghosts, his interest triggered by a

cartoon he'd watched on television.

    The large circle represents the swimming pool,

and the small marks within it represent several

ghosts swimming, the swimming pool, his home.

    As he drew, his 'story' unfolded.  The curving

scribble-marks (lower left) represenhis home,

and the two  diagonal lines leading from it,

point to the route he walked from his home to the swimming pool.


Taxonomy: Early explorations with marks


Liam was out for a walk with his mum,

and had taken his new box of chalks with

him. Arriving at a junction of the footpath

he paused and drew an arrow to point

the way to go.


Taxonomy: Explorations with signs and symbols





Shereen was drawing a map at home, explaining,

 "You have to follow the arrow, to find the ship

which is in the middle of the map."


Taxonomy: Explorations with signs and symbols






Isaac was play 'ice-cream vans' outside,

using his dad's work van. At the end of

his road there was a 'T' junction, and he

wanted to make a road sign for his

customers, to indicate that they could

go left or right.

    Unsure quite how to do this,  

he asked his dad to help, and was very 

pleased with the result.


Taxonomy: Explorations with signs and symbols







Taxonomy: Explorations with signs and symbols



Drawing on her personal and social knowledge of

cafés, Shereen approached her friends for orders,

creating wavy lines, and a drawing of a mushroom

in response.

     After a while she asked  her teacher Emma,

“what you want: rice, chocolate, cake, chicken?”

Emma said she didn’t want chicken and Shereen

wrote a mark for “chicken” and drew a cross by it, clarifying, “It says “x” - no chicken.”

     Later Emma said she would have chicken, but

pointing to the “x” she had written, Shereen said

“Look! No chicken! You want mushroom?” Then

pointing to her drawing of a mushroom explained,

“Look. A tick, that  mean we got some.”

Harry and his friends had decided on a game

game they'd invented outside, and drew

different signs to signify various messages

to players. Pointing to the cross he'd drawn,

Harry explained, "this is where you lose!" 

  Next one of the boys drew a straight,

vertical line with several short lines crossing

it horizontally (not shown). He explained

"‘It's such a long way and it means you double-win the whole match."


Taxonomy: Explorations with signs and symbols