Visual Text Can Increase Student Comprehension

Helping students comprehend what they are reading can sometimes be a challenge when we are working with non-fiction or informational text. A great way to help students deeply think about what they are reading and “visualize” the information and the relationships in the content is by using visual texts. Ask students to read two or more articles or pieces of informational text on the same topic. Once they have completed this task, ask them to summarize the information they have learned into one visual text graphic. For example, students might create a flow chart to explain a cycle or how something works. They might create a diagram to show the relationships that exist in the material. They could create a time line to show where key events occurred over time. They could create a table to categorize various items from the text or even create a story map to summarize the key events or main points of the texts. We have all heard the old saying, “A picture is worth a 1,000 words.” Students love to create visual texts and having them create visual representations of their understandings is a great way for students of all ages to show what they know.

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