ERIC Number: EJ1047968
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
ISSN: ISSN-1933 8341
Navigating Maps to Support Comprehension: When Textbooks Don't Have GPS
Roberts, Kathryn L.; Brugar, Kristy A.
Geography Teacher, v11 n4 p149-163 2014
In this article, Kathryn Roberts & Kristy Brugar discuss their assessment of third-, fourth- and fifth-grade children's understandings of the types of maps commonly found in their social studies text and trade books, and the knowledge and misconceptions it revealed. They then discuss how teachers might begin to address those issues with classroom interventions.Teaching about, with, and through maps exposes readers to the meaning that can be gained from them on a variety of levels, which can make social studies texts and content more comprehensible. Based on previous research (the authors' own and that of others) and experiences as classroom teachers, Kathryn Roberts, and Kristy Brugar knew that comprehension of social studies texts and concepts are difficult for children, a possible reason that only 22 percent of fourth-grade students were at or above the proficient level in U.S. History on the 2010 NAEP assessment (IES 2011). Roberts and Brugar also know that the degree to which children are able to utilize the graphics as sources of meaning in texts strongly influences their comprehension (Roberts and Norman in press). Maps are complex graphical devices that can provide a wide variety of information to support or extend the meaning of the written text. They can also be used as informational tools as readers seek to answer their own questions or solve problems. However, based on this research, reading maps critically in ways that support these purposes does not seem to be something that children are likely to be able to do in the absence of carefully planned, intentional instruction.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Maps, Textbooks, Intervention, National Competency Tests, Geography, Geography Instruction, Academic Standards, Comprehension, Misconceptions, Suburban Schools, Measures (Individuals), Observation, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Interviews, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress