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Effects of Modeling Instruction on Descriptive Writing and Observational Skills in Middle School

  • Do-Yong ParkEmail author
  • Cindy Logsdon
Article

Abstract

Before science can be completely understood, one of the fundamental skills that must be developed is observation. Improving descriptive writing and investigating students’ observational skills in the classroom is the purpose of this study. The study was designed to determine if such skills, practiced through modeling activities, serve as a way to improve students’ descriptive directional writing skills. Participating in this study were two groups of seventh (N = 12) and eighth graders (N = 12) at a middle school in the Midwest, USA. The students participating in the study each received a set of materials to construct an item (a 3D object) in an isolated area within the room for privacy. After constructing the item, the student was to write a set of directions on how to construct the item that they had made. A second student was then given the same set of materials along with the first student’s instructions on how to construct it. This activity was repeated four times over a 4-week period. Results indicated that over time students made a significant improvement in their descriptive writing skills and observational skills. Implications of the findings are discussed in terms of the characteristics of middle school students’ skills and knowledge of descriptive writing and observation.

Key words

descriptive writing modeling instruction observational skills 

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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Teaching and LearningIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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