Answer/Quote: “One skill consistently cited across all content areas and grade levels is the ability to read and interpret graphic displays. This is graphical literacy, defined as the ability to interpret charts, maps, graphs and other pictorial presentations used to supplement the prose in textbook, nonfiction, trade books, and newspapers.” P. 350.
Question: What are some questions about graphical literacy?Answer/Quote: “Several important questions need to be addressed concerning graphical literacy: What are the types and functions of the graphic displays found in textbooks? Do graphic displays facilitate learning? How well do students read graphic displays? What can the classroom teacher do to help student read graphic displays?” 350.
Question: What should teachers do to assure that students gain information from charts, maps, graphs and other pictorial presentations used to supplement the prose in textbook, nonfiction, trade books, and newspapers?
Answer/Quote: “Nearly all content area textbooks contain graphic displays. Researchers suggest that graphic aids can facilitate comprehension; however, many students are not proficient at reading and interpreting these displays for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it is important that content area teachers draw student’s attention to the graphic displays found in the textbook and teach them how to read these displays. Graphic displays should not be overlooked because if used effectively and interpreted correctly, they can significantly improve comprehension, retention, and enjoyment of the material.” P. 354.
Comment: Routinely, I ignore charts, maps, graphs and other pictorial presentations. My impression is that they are much too detailed and take too much time to understand. I am wrong. If I could do over my years as a teacher, I would make sure that students take the time to read and understand charts, maps and graphs. RayS.
Title: “Reading Graphic Displays: What Teachers Should Know.” CS Gillespie. Journal of Reading (February 1993), 350-354.