The Effects of Concept Mapping and Questioning on Students’ Organization and Retention of Science Knowledge While Using Interactive Read-Alouds
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According to recent assessment data, there is an urgent need to improve students' knowledge of science. It has been suggested that the infusion of reading activities including concept mapping, questioning and interactive read-alouds can help students in learning science concepts. Little or no research has combined these methods to examine its effect on learning. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare concept mapping and questioning on students' organization and retention of science knowledge when used with interactive informational read-alouds of science trade books. This study included 58 third grade students from four homogenous classes who were assigned to either a concept mapping group (experimental group) or a questioning with writing group (comparison group). With the same teacher, the school science specialist, the students completed an eight day unit regarding "soil formation" comprised of read-alouds, discussions and reading comprehension activities. (There were no hands-on, laboratory experiments.) Students were assessed on different types of knowledge. Data were analyzed using a mixed model ANOVA design to determine both within-factors (repeated measure), to show growth, and between-factors, to determine the difference between the two groups. The concept mapping group (experimental group) performed significantly higher than the questioning with writing group (comparison) on (a) relational vocabulary assessment (measuring relational knowledge); (b) multiple-choice assessment (measuring students' ability to identify key ideas); and (c) writing assessment (measuring students' relational thinking, students' ability to retain and recall key information and students' ability to use domain knowledge). The concept mapping group maintained these gains in a delayed assessment. The groups did not differ on individual word knowledge as measured by a matching assessment. Recommendations are provided for teachers and researchers including using concept mapping in teaching science concepts to elementary students in conjunction with science text reading, as well as incorporating technology with computer-generated concept maps using Inspiration software.
Berry, Jaime Leigh (2011). The Effects of Concept Mapping and Questioning on Students’ Organization and Retention of Science Knowledge While Using Interactive Read-Alouds. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from