Thesis

In what ways does the use of picture books benefit middle school students?

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which picture books benefit middle school students. One hundred seventeen middle school students, in five life science classes, participated in pre-unit and post-unit surveys (Appendix A). Three classes in the experimental group received instruction supplemented with picture books. Two classes in the comparison group received traditional instruction, without the use of picture books. The questions that were asked were about what types of learning and classroom activities they prefer, what makes learning fun for them, and how they think they learn best. Of the classes in the experimental group, picture books improved by one point (ranked one point higher) from pre-to postsurvey. The researcher included one question on the pre-and post-surveys that asked about visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learners. Quantitative analysis suggested that picture books may meet the needs of all three learning modalities, and could be a greater benefit to auditory learners. This research suggested, as a benefit to students, that it may be important for middle school teachers to use picture books as a meaningful contribution to their curricula.

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