## Nonlinguistic Representation

12. Puzzles and Riddles

Certain puzzles and riddles may often be useful in teaching or practicing a specific skill or idea. Mathematical puzzles are especially common. The teacher introduces a lesson with a specific puzzle or riddle relating to what the class will be learning and uses this puzzle to help explain the new concept or idea. Often, students will be able to continue practicing the new concept on similar puzzles when the lesson has been finished.

Magic Squares are a very basic but excellent example of math puzzles which can be used to help teach a concept. In Magic Squares, a square is divided into several rows and columns. The trick is to get each row and column to add up to the same number. In the young grades, Magic Squares are a useful way to show addition of several numbers, and are useful in older grades to learn how to find and solve mathematical patterns.

Cathcart, W.G., Vance, J.H., Pothier, Y.M., Bezuk, N.S. (2005). Learning mathematics in elementary and middle schools: A learner-centered approach (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

13. Models/Manipulatives

Models and manipulatives are simply ways of representing the information being learned in three-dimensional space. Often the teacher will model the use of these manipulatives when teaching the concept, and then students use these physical models to engage in hands-on learning. Other times, students will construct models based on what they have learned. Models and manipulatives are especially effective for kinesthetic learners who are able to better understand ideas which are presented in concrete ways.

Manipulatives are useful in any subject area, but are especially helpful in math because they can make abstract ideas more relatable. For example, a teacher could use fake coins when teaching students about adding decimals. In this case, not only does this math become more hands-on and engaging, but students are also able to understand one of the purposes of this mathematical skill.

Dean, C.B., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., Stone, B. (2012).

14. Mental Pictures

Generating mental pictures is another very simple, but effective, instructional strategy. The process begins with the class reading a text or perhaps simply imagining a scene. While students are doing this, the teacher encourages mental pictures by either providing or calling attention to vivid details about this scene. He/she may describe sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures, and colors, or may point these descriptive words out in the selection students are reading. Listening to these descriptions, the students imagine what the scene would actually be like. Teachers can take this process one step further by providing time for students to share their mental pictures with group mates.

When reading the book

Dean, C.B., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., Stone, B. (2012).

15. Pictures/Illustrations

The process for creating pictures or illustrations to represent information is relatively similar to creating a mental picture. Students read a selection or take part in a lesson, and the teacher instructs students to think about the descriptive words used to draw an accurate picture representing the information. Often times this visual representation allows students who are more visually inclined to better understand what has been taught. Teachers can also use pictures and illustrations of their own or that they have compiled from other sources to provide visual images to students as they learn about a certain concept.

A picture/illustration activity is included in the lesson which embedded in this profile. Students who choose this activity are to represent facts about different aspects of Iraq by drawing a time capsule and placing drawn representational objects inside. This activity gives students who are visual learners an appropriate option for practicing facts about Iraq and showing the teacher what they understand from the lesson.

Dean, C.B., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., Stone, B. (2012).

16. Simulations

Although students can sometimes have a part in planning simulations, most of this responsibility falls on the teacher. In order to teach using a simulation, the teacher defines a new setting for the classroom and possibly new character roles for students. He/she may also present a problem for students, as these alternate characters, to solve. This strategy is often useful because it places students directly in the process they are learning about. By becoming certain characters or having to solve certain problems themselves, students discover first-hand the topic they are learning about, creating a very memorable and often impactful experience.

This strategy is incredibly useful in a social studies classroom, where students often study processes involving people. By taking on the roles of these people, students are able to better identify and comprehend the concepts they are learning. An example of a simulation is included in the Back to Iraq lesson embedded in this profile. In this lesson, students take on the role of Iraqi citizens and are able to participate in Iraq’s first democratic election.

Saskatoon Public Schools. (2009). What are simulations? Retrieved from http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/simul/.

17. Skits

To begin this process, the teacher establishes several small groups and instructs students to come up with a demonstration depicting a concept they have learned about in class. The teacher can be very specific with these instructions and even provide ideas for skits, or he/she can be very open-ended and allow students a great amount of creativity. Students are given a specific amount of time to develop the idea for their skit and engage in any practice they would like to do. After this set amount of time is up, groups present their skit one at a time. To make this strategy more meaningful, the teacher will often lead students in class discussion or have students discuss the skits in groups after they have all been performed.

An example of this instructional strategy has been included in the embedded lesson. In this example, the skit is used as a closure activity. Students are instructed to develop and perform a skit, in groups, depicting a news broadcast of Iraq’s first democratic election. Although students are given a strict time limit in this example, much of the skit is up to their creative interpretation.

Dean, C.B., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., Stone, B. (2012).

**-Basics:***Time Needed:*5-20 minutes*Classroom Arrangement:*Usually no special arrangement necessary.*Materials:*Puzzle or riddle template, appropriate tools to solve puzzle (usually writing utensil and paper)**-Process:**Certain puzzles and riddles may often be useful in teaching or practicing a specific skill or idea. Mathematical puzzles are especially common. The teacher introduces a lesson with a specific puzzle or riddle relating to what the class will be learning and uses this puzzle to help explain the new concept or idea. Often, students will be able to continue practicing the new concept on similar puzzles when the lesson has been finished.

**-Example:**Magic Squares are a very basic but excellent example of math puzzles which can be used to help teach a concept. In Magic Squares, a square is divided into several rows and columns. The trick is to get each row and column to add up to the same number. In the young grades, Magic Squares are a useful way to show addition of several numbers, and are useful in older grades to learn how to find and solve mathematical patterns.

**- Source:**Cathcart, W.G., Vance, J.H., Pothier, Y.M., Bezuk, N.S. (2005). Learning mathematics in elementary and middle schools: A learner-centered approach (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

13. Models/Manipulatives

**-Basics:***Time Needed:*Varies, 5 minutes to entire instructional time*Classroom Arrangement:*Usually no special arrangement necessary.*Materials:*Manipulative material or material for constructing models depending on specific activity**-Process:**Models and manipulatives are simply ways of representing the information being learned in three-dimensional space. Often the teacher will model the use of these manipulatives when teaching the concept, and then students use these physical models to engage in hands-on learning. Other times, students will construct models based on what they have learned. Models and manipulatives are especially effective for kinesthetic learners who are able to better understand ideas which are presented in concrete ways.

**-Example:**Manipulatives are useful in any subject area, but are especially helpful in math because they can make abstract ideas more relatable. For example, a teacher could use fake coins when teaching students about adding decimals. In this case, not only does this math become more hands-on and engaging, but students are also able to understand one of the purposes of this mathematical skill.

**-Source:**Dean, C.B., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., Stone, B. (2012).

*Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.*Denver: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.14. Mental Pictures

**-Basics:***Time Needed:*1-5 minutes*Classroom Arrangement:*No special arrangement necessary.*Materials:*No materials necessary.**-Process:**Generating mental pictures is another very simple, but effective, instructional strategy. The process begins with the class reading a text or perhaps simply imagining a scene. While students are doing this, the teacher encourages mental pictures by either providing or calling attention to vivid details about this scene. He/she may describe sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures, and colors, or may point these descriptive words out in the selection students are reading. Listening to these descriptions, the students imagine what the scene would actually be like. Teachers can take this process one step further by providing time for students to share their mental pictures with group mates.

**-Example:**When reading the book

*The Hatchet,*by Gary Paulsen, in a fifth grade class, the teacher could encourage students to generate mental pictures of what is happening in the book. Because Paulsen uses very descriptive language, students have many great adjectives to think about when generating this picture. After giving students a few moments to think about this scene, the teacher could then ask for several volunteers to share their mental picture, and the class would discuss a few similarities and differences.**-Source:**Dean, C.B., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., Stone, B. (2012).

*Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.*Denver: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.15. Pictures/Illustrations

**-Basics:***Time Needed:*2-10 minutes*Classroom Arrangement:*No special arrangement necessary.*Materials:*Paper, writing utensils, markers/crayons for each student. Could also use computers or other similar technology.**-Process:**The process for creating pictures or illustrations to represent information is relatively similar to creating a mental picture. Students read a selection or take part in a lesson, and the teacher instructs students to think about the descriptive words used to draw an accurate picture representing the information. Often times this visual representation allows students who are more visually inclined to better understand what has been taught. Teachers can also use pictures and illustrations of their own or that they have compiled from other sources to provide visual images to students as they learn about a certain concept.

**-Example:**A picture/illustration activity is included in the lesson which embedded in this profile. Students who choose this activity are to represent facts about different aspects of Iraq by drawing a time capsule and placing drawn representational objects inside. This activity gives students who are visual learners an appropriate option for practicing facts about Iraq and showing the teacher what they understand from the lesson.

**-Source:**Dean, C.B., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., Stone, B. (2012).

*Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.*Denver: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.16. Simulations

**-Basics:***Time Needed:*Varies, at least 15-20 minutes*Classroom Arrangement:*Classroom should be arranged to fit simulation. Desks and other classroom resources can be used as props if desired.*Materials:*Props if desired**-Process:**Although students can sometimes have a part in planning simulations, most of this responsibility falls on the teacher. In order to teach using a simulation, the teacher defines a new setting for the classroom and possibly new character roles for students. He/she may also present a problem for students, as these alternate characters, to solve. This strategy is often useful because it places students directly in the process they are learning about. By becoming certain characters or having to solve certain problems themselves, students discover first-hand the topic they are learning about, creating a very memorable and often impactful experience.

**-Example:**This strategy is incredibly useful in a social studies classroom, where students often study processes involving people. By taking on the roles of these people, students are able to better identify and comprehend the concepts they are learning. An example of a simulation is included in the Back to Iraq lesson embedded in this profile. In this lesson, students take on the role of Iraqi citizens and are able to participate in Iraq’s first democratic election.

**-Source:**Saskatoon Public Schools. (2009). What are simulations? Retrieved from http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/simul/.

17. Skits

**-Basics:***Time Needed:*At least 5-10 minutes*Classroom Arrangement:*Usually desks are set back, with an open area in the front of the room for acting.*Materials:*Any basic props, if desired.**-Process:**To begin this process, the teacher establishes several small groups and instructs students to come up with a demonstration depicting a concept they have learned about in class. The teacher can be very specific with these instructions and even provide ideas for skits, or he/she can be very open-ended and allow students a great amount of creativity. Students are given a specific amount of time to develop the idea for their skit and engage in any practice they would like to do. After this set amount of time is up, groups present their skit one at a time. To make this strategy more meaningful, the teacher will often lead students in class discussion or have students discuss the skits in groups after they have all been performed.

**-Example:**An example of this instructional strategy has been included in the embedded lesson. In this example, the skit is used as a closure activity. Students are instructed to develop and perform a skit, in groups, depicting a news broadcast of Iraq’s first democratic election. Although students are given a strict time limit in this example, much of the skit is up to their creative interpretation.

**-Source:**Dean, C.B., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., Stone, B. (2012).

*Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.*Denver: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.