Activities to develop nonlinguistic representations and improve understanding of content

  • Creating graphic representations (p. 73)
    • Creating graphic organizers: combines linguistic and nonlinguistic modes
    • Venn Diagrams, Maps, Diagrams, concept maps, time lines
  • Making physical models (p. 73)
    • Concrete representations of what is being learned
      • Use of manipulative, sculptures, models, diorama, foldable
  • Generating mental pictures (p.74)
    • Could be symbolic
    • Similes, metaphors, analogies, imagery
  • Drawing pictures and pictographs (p. 74)
    • Draw/color human skeletal system or solar system, cartoons, videos, photographs
    • Illustrate a process (life cycles, writing process, solving an equation)
  • Engage in kinesthetic activity (p. 74)
    • Activities that involve physical movement
    • Role play, demos, dance
    • Body math (illustrate angles, geometric shapes, etc.)
    • Acting out Reader’s Theaters
From Classrooms That Work by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering & Jane Pollock

Additional Information
* Nonlinguistic representations should identify the most important concepts (not just a cute illustration)
* Important to have the students explain their nonlinguistic representations
(deepen understanding of content and gives others a different way of thinking about the information)
* Give students the opportunity to revise their nonlinguistic representations
* Another form of note-taking
* Consider adding nonlinguistic forms to note-taking (include sketches, graphs, symbols) or vocabulary charts/journals

Technology Integration
  • Kidspiration/Inspiration: creating graphic organizers and generating mental images, drawing pictures/pictographs
  • Digital cameras, MovieMaker, United Streaming: generating mental pictures
  • Excel: drawing pictures/pictographs
  • Movie Maker/Photo Story: kinesthetic activities/making physical models

Additional Sources