• Comprehension of pictures in content area texts in the Elementary grades

      D'Amaro, Samantha (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      Although recent reading programs such as Let's be Friends by Houghton Mifflin (2001) and the Common Core Modules (Common, 2012) emphasize learning to read the words (the "print") and seem to ignore the reading of illustrations (the "visuals"), emergent readers first learn to "read" by reading visuals not words. Therefore early childhood educators should be aware of "image reading" when they are "considering the kinds of meaning making children do with books prior to conventional reading" (Lysaker & Hopper, 2015, p. 650). The problem related to this reading of visuals is teachers not understanding students' process for comprehension of images, and that leads to the secondary problem of teachers not being able to assist students in the comprehension of complex texts which contain pictures, illustrations, and images. Both of these problems can be addressed by asking the research question of how the comprehension of pictures develops and assists children to comprehend expository texts as the children progress through elementary school. To address this research question, a research synthesis was conducted. The results show two sets of findings: that a developmental continuum appears to exist for the comprehension of visuals, and that there are some instructional strategies for enhancing comprehension along the continuum. [From author's abstract]