Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 367–389 | Cite as

Teaching Science Through Pictorial Models During Read-Alouds

  • Alandeom W. Oliveira
  • Seema Rivera
  • Rory Glass
  • Michael Mastroianni
  • Francine Wizner
  • Vincent Amodeo


This study examines how three elementary teachers refer to pictorial models (photographs, drawings, and cartoons) during science read-alouds. While one teacher used realistic photographs for the purpose of visually verifying facts about crystals, another employed analytical diagrams as heuristic tools to help students visualize complex target systems (rainbow formation and human eye functioning). Another teacher used fictional cartoons to engage students in analogical storytelling, communicating animal camouflage as analogous to human “blending in.” However, teachers did not always explicitly convey the representational nature of pictorial models (analog and target as separate entities). It is argued that teachers need to become more aware of how they refer to pictorial models in children’s science books and how to promote student visual literacy.


Science read-aloud Pictorial model Children’s science books Elementary school Pictures Visual literacy 


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alandeom W. Oliveira
    • 1
  • Seema Rivera
    • 1
  • Rory Glass
    • 1
  • Michael Mastroianni
    • 1
  • Francine Wizner
    • 1
  • Vincent Amodeo
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational Theory and Practice DepartmentState University of New YorkAlbanyUSA

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