Chapter 5 - Non-linguistic Representations

"....enhance students' ability to use mental images to represent and elaborate on knowledge."

Overview of the Research

  1. A variety of activities produce nonlinguistic representations.
  2. The purpose of nonlinguistic representation is to elaborate on knowledge.

What does this look like in the classroom?

  1. Use graphic organizers to represent knowledge.
  2. Have students create physical models of the knowledge.
  3. Have students generate mental pictures of the knowledge they are learning.
  4. Use pictures or pictographs to represent knowledge.
  5. Have students engage in kinesthetic activities representing the knowledge.

Technology Connections

There are six categories of technology that help teachers provide and help students create mental pictures and pictographs:

1. Word Processing Applications

  • Allows students to augment their written text with visual elements such as clip art and photos

2. Spreadsheet Software

3. Organizing and Brainstorming Software

Graphic representations serve as mnemonic devices that facilitate the classification, organization, storage and recollection of information into and out of long-term memory. Some technology tools used to support these representations are:
  • Inspiration
  • Microsoft Visio
  • CmapTools
  • SmartTools ( used with SmartBoards)
  • Microsoft Word Drawing toolbar
Six common types of pattern organizers:
  1. Conceptual/Descriptive
  2. Generalization/Principle
  3. Time-Sequence
  4. Episode
  5. Process/Cause-Effect

4. Data Collection Tools

  • Digital Probes
  • Digital Microscopes

5. Multimedia - one of the most effective forms of nonlinguistic representation

  • Most engaging learning comes from having the student create the presentation as part of the learning process.
  • A combination of single mediums: video, audio and interactivity.
  1. Presentations
  2. Animations
- Webmonkey for Kids:
- Animation Factory:
- Animation Inspiration:
3. Movies and Video

6. Web Resources