There were multiple purposes for this quantitative, descriptive study. The first was to determine the prevalence, type and function of informational graphics in a sample of representative second grade informational textbooks. The second purpose was to explore the extent and types of instructional strategies that publishers provide teachers to support their instruction of informational graphics in textbooks. The third purpose was to examine the space related to graphics in the accompanying publisher-provided assessments. The final purpose was to determine how students of differing reading levels (at, above, below) comprehend graphics in informational text and how they comprehend informational text that incorporates graphics. To address the first three purposes of this study a content analysis was performed utilizing a representative sample of second grade science, social studies and reading textbooks, the accompanying teachers' manuals and publisher-provided assessments. To address the final purpose, 46 second grade students at an urban elementary school in southeastern Wisconsin who were reading below, at and above level based on their Measure of Academic Progress (NWEA, 2009) scores were administered a reading measure to assess their comprehension of informational text graphics and informational text containing graphics. Results of this study indicated that the science texts devoted more space to graphics than the social studies and reading texts. Little support for graphics instruction was found in all teacher manuals. The space devoted to written text was much greater than the space given to graphics in the publisher-provided assessments. Representative photographs were the most frequently occurring type and function of the graphic in all textbooks. MANOVA results revealed that reading level did not play a significant difference in the comprehension of graphics, but did play a significant difference in the areas of vocabulary, knowledge of text features and comprehension strategies between the above level readers and below level readers and between the at level readers and below level readers. These differences suggest that more instruction in graphics is needed at the primary level to support students' comprehension of informational text. This is important since failure to do so may adversely impact student performance on high stakes assessments.This is important since failure to do so may adversely impact student performance on high stakes assessments.
|Title||:||The Role of Graphics in Informational Texts and Their Impact on Second Graders' Comprehension|