Teaching children to understand and remember information they can use now and later
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The purpose of researching various methods is to plan for future instruction. Children listen to learn language, and their listening vocabulary is far greater than their speaking or writing (Farris, 200l p.13). Listening to expository science books with new words encourages new vocabulary. Adults and children use drawings and symbols to communicate a variety of information effectively. I wanted to see how much information students comprehended, and also if they preferred drawing or writing to communicate it. Since they could do either or both in the same time frame, comparisons could be made as to which they preferred. I also wanted to see if they were able to recall and communicate more information by drawing or writing. Using sketches to teach combined drawing and listening and also provided a place for students to focus while listening to new words or knowledge. Students of all ages seem to enjoy drawing, tracing, and making designs on notebooks while listening to teachers, writing their names or answers on worksheets or reading independently. Using expository science books by the same author helped insure there were no differences among texts. All the books were about animals, were illustrated and had similar non-fiction conventions such as bold print, captions, labeled illustrations, and comparisons to a similar animal. Familiar shapes such as oval, triangle, square and circle were used to sketch animals. This was done so students could more easily form the basic shape and add new data from the book. Quantitative analyses were made of the number of items students recalled using both drawing and dictating to others. Results revealed the majority of students were able to draw more items than they verbalized revealing a stronger reliance on drawing than writing. Some illustrated and dictated new information from the books. Some lower achieving students outscored high achieving students when drawing was used as a means of instruction and assessment. Findings revealed more students recalled items from lessons using muraling than KWL or a game using clues. Not all students were present for all lessons. Therefore, some comparisons of results of various instructional methods were limited to those present. Pictures transcend vocabulary and are helpful for English language learners, those with hearing limitations, and those who have different learning styles or disabilities. Using them to teach also benefits the teacher by organizing instruction, outlining important information and remembering new information.