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Use Images in Non-Fiction to Support Comprehension & Retention

Tags

ELA: Reading All Ages Strategy

Skills

Verbal Reasoning Abstract Reasoning

Use Images in Non-Fiction to Support Comprehension & Retention

If your student's visual or abstract reasoning and memory are good, particularly they are stronger than their verbal skills

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will refer to the images, pictures or other visuals in non-fiction reading to enhance their understanding and strengthen retention.
  2. Direct Instruction: Explain why. Seeing a picture while reading or hearing information helps us understand and remember better. You also might see details in the picture that you missed in your reading or listening. While pictures are helpful in all types of reading, they are especially important in non-fiction and textbooks.
  3. Model and Practice: Take an example in a book. Show students how you might look at a picture, both before starting to read to provide context, as well as after you read to confirm you understood. Think aloud as you model. I see this diagram is showing me steps in the growth process. I'm going to follow the images one step at a time.
  4. Class Activity: a) Read a page in a book and show the picture. Then have students close their eyes and recall the details of what they heard and saw. Ask a couple students to retell what they heard and saw. Ask if they are remembering the picture or the words. While some will rely on the words more, many will rely on the picture. All will be able to retell and remember better by seeing both the picture and words. b) Teach students to visualize when pictures are not available.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

The brain uses different pathways to take in visual information from the pathways it uses to listen or to read. Using multiple pathways reinforces the learning and helps us understand and remember more effectively. While some students look for pictures, many students gloss over pictures in their haste to finish an assignment. Demonstrating the value of pictures and teaching students explicitly when and how to use them will help them appreciate the importance. This strategy is especially helpful for students with stronger visual reasoning or memory skills.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Attention, Auditory Processing, Self-Regulation, Long-term Memory, Working Memory, Processing Speed (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)