Nerd Research Minute: #STEAM up Reading with Drawing

Summarizing with Drawings: A Reading-Comprehension Strategy
by Janine Elliott
Science Scope, v30 n5 p23-27 Jan 2007

Available from NTSA: National Science Teaching Association


Description: When teachers ask their students to read something in class, they often encounter students who just wait for everyone else to finish reading before they do. These type of students are the ones most likely to dislike reading and they are just content to wait it out. Teachers may counteract this by requiring students to answer questions in writing or by requiring them to skim the reading until they find the answers. In this article, the author shares a strategy she developed to motivate students and engage them in the reading process. Her strategy requires students to read an article and then draw pictures that summarize the main ideas of what they had read. (Contains 6 figures and 6 resources.)
“When students summarize by drawing they must form a visual representation of the information they’re trying to convey. This provides an opportunity for students to elaborate and encode the information in a personally meaningful way. In addition, drawing after reading encourages students to reflect on what they have read and allows time to process the information. In some cases, I found that students admitted reading more carefully when they knew they would have to draw. In essence, they paid more attention to what they were reading in order to be able to do the drawing activity afterward. Finally, drawing can be used as a motivational tool. My students generally found it enjoyable, partly because they felt it took less effort than having to complete a written summary.” ~Janine Elliott
A motivational strategy for students acknowledging that there is a personal value (drawing) attached to the task of reading. Elliott scientifically tested her strategy in class and describes the breakdown of specific data in this short article.  
Elliott, J. (2007). Summarizing with Drawings: A Reading-Comprehension Strategy. Science Scope30(5), 23-27.