The Comic Strip as a Medium for Promoting Science Literacy ...

The Comic Strip as a Medium for Promoting Science Literacy ...

The Comic Strip as a Medium for Promoting Science Literacy John C. Olson California State University Northridge Introduction Problem Methodology of warm up activities failed to allow for the different learning style preferences of my students. Students resisted those activities which were challenging, difficult, or that proved tedious for them. Standards-based focus of the curriculum did not allow sufficient time for students to read, think, or talk about science and science issues.

Introduction Purpose Statement The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a sciencethemed comic strip to stimulate student interest in science and science issues, and to provide a forum for students to respond, discuss, debate, and write about the content of the comic strips. Introduction Research Question #1 Does the use of a science themed comic strip promote science literacy by providing

students a forum to think, talk and write about science and science issues? Introduction Research Question #2 Do comic strips presenting grade level content improve student performance? Introduction Research Question #3 What do students with different learning styles perceive as the benefits of the cartoon strip curriculum? What are the

drawbacks? Review of the Literature Literacy Science Literacy Visual Literacy Comic Strips in the Classroom Comic Strips in Science Learning Styles Review of the Literature Literacy Reading and writing in content areas is essential to promote literacy (Loranger, 1999; Paterson, 2007) Literacy has to be a shared responsibility throughout the entire school

(Paterson, 2007) Review of the Literature Science Literacy Knowledge of scientific vocabulary Understanding the nature of inquiry in science Use scientific concepts in everyday life Be able to read and interpret scientific information in the popular press (Wallace, 2004) When students are expected to transition from learning how to read into the more challenging reading to learn format, they encounter a dramatic change in the type of reading materials they use. (Fang,2006)

Review of the Literature Science Literacy One needs at least a familiarity and comfort with science to tackle many of the activities and issues of modern life. Even though you dont need to know the details of every scientific conundrum, you need and awareness of what is and isnt science. (Alan Leshner) American Association for the Advancement of Science Review of the Literature Visual Literacy the role of an animated agent The behaviors of the onscreen character

mimics modes of non-verbal communication agents capable of these behaviors are considered powerful additions to multimedia learning environments. ( Dunsworth and Atkinson 2007) Review of the Literature Visual Literacy When we expand our methods of literacy instruction by including TV, drama, multimedia, comics, and other formats, (Lin, 2003)

Review of the Literature Comic Strips in the Research hasClassroom indicated that comic strips in the classroom can be a great teaching aid for English Language Learners Children with limited verbal skills benefit from comic strip conversations because they rely on extensive use of visual materials (Carrier, 2005) (Glaeser, Pierson, & Fritschmann, 2003) (Serious ESL Lessons, 2005) Review of the Literature Comic Strips in Science

The concept cartoon in teaching science enhances motivation minimizes classroom management keeps the pupils on task enables finding students prior knowledge (Kabapnar, 2005) Review of the Literature Comic Strips in Science comic strips can be used effectively to provoke thinking about science and health related issues presenting scientific principles by combining both text and images seems likely to convey a concept more easily than words alone.

(Weitkamp & Burnet 2007) Methodology Study Group 141 eighth grade science students who share common English, math, science and history teachers. 67% White Non-Hispanic 23% Hispanic 2% Black 2% Korean 1% Filipino. 5% other ethnicities: (Thai, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese) Methodology Sub Groups

The main study group contained 57 males and 84 females ranging in age from 12 to 14 years. Methodology Length of Study Four months Fall semester of 2007-2008 (September December) Four Phases Methodology Phases of Study Phase 1: Curriculum Phase 2: Experimental Treatment Phase 3: Student created comic

strips and dialogue Phase4: Classroom Discussions Exit survey and small focus group Sample: Comic Curriculum Methodology Triangulation Methodology Triangulation Methodology Triangulation

Science Literacy Findings: Phase 1 - Curriculum Science Literacy Findings: Phase 1 - Curriculum Science Literacy Findings: Phase 1 - Curriculum Science Literacy Findings: Phase 3 Student Cartoons Science Literacy Concept

correct Storyline Elaboration Background Humor Character Concept 3 Elaboration 2 Background 1 Storyline 1 Character 1 Humor 1 Cumulative 9 Findings: Phase 3 Student Cartoons Science Literacy points earned vs number of students

60 51 number of students 50 40 27 30 20 20 10 2 1

"2" "3" 18 16 4 0 "4" "5" "6" "7"

"8" "9" points earned per rubric (7 = meets criteria) 68% met or exceeded the expected outcome 7 students scored at or below 4 points 100% of participants turned in a finished comic strip. Findings: Phase 3 Student Cartoons Science Literacy Findings: Phase 3 Student Dialogue Science Literacy

Academic Vocabulary used Correctly vs Number of Students Students Overall, 62% of the students participating met or exceeded the minimum expectation for this activity. 45 40 35 30

25 20 15 10 5 0 41 34 26 16 9 2 1 2 3

4 5 6 0 7 3 8 Number of academic words used correctly Findings: Phase 3 Student Dialogue Science Literacy

Copernicus: Hey Newtun wat is this Newton: A bunsin berner it heats things up using an exothermic reactin Copernicus: I dont get it Newton: Watch Newton: Ill use this flint to turn it on Copernicus: That not safe Copernicus: Let cook some marshmallows Newton: I was thinken the same thing Newton: Thes are gonna be good Copernicus: I knew it Findings: Phase 3 Student Dialogue Science Literacy Sample #1 . . . what kind of a snake does Lucky say it appears to be? M34T

M34T: a carnivorous constrictor. Teacher: What is a carnivorous constrictor? What does carnivore mean? Does anybody know? M34T: meat eater? Teacher: Meat eater. What is a constrictor, what does a constrictor do? M55K M55K: It squeezes its prey. Teacher: Yeah, it wraps around and squeezes, and what does that do? M55K: It suffocates it. Findings: Phase 4 Classroom Performance: Phase 1 3 Curriculum Assessments: Performance by subgroups

average out of 10 Assessment 1: Lessons 1-6 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 8.67 7.81

8.52 8.03 8.00 Visual Auditory Kinesthetic 2 styles Core 0.91 1.54 mean 1.12 1.25 1.31

stdev Assessment 2: Lessons 7-11 average out of 10 10.00 Assessment 3: Lessons 12-18 8.00 7.05 7.05 7.38 average out of 10 7.00

Visual 6.83 Auditory 6.17 6.00 Kinesthetic 5.00 2 styles 4.00

Core 3.00 2.01 2.00 1.36 1.69 1.54 1.72 1.00 0.00 mean stdev

8.00 Visual 7.76 7.81 8.05 7.63 7.57 Auditory Kinesthetic 6.00 2 styles 4.00 Core 1.14 1.57 1.36 1.43 1.54 2.00

0.00 mean stdev Performance: Phase 2 - Ionic Bond Q4: What is the term for the attraction between ions? Q5: What is a valence electron? Lecture vs Comic Strip Presentation 100% average % correct by group Q1: What happens when an atom loses an electron?

Q2. What happens to an atom that gains electrons? Q3: What is the term for a positively or negatively charged atom? 80% 86% 64% 83% 64% 60% 63%

59% 41% 41% 40% 41% 32% 20% 0% Q1 Q2 Q3 question number

Q4 Q5 Group A Lecture Group B Comic Strip Performance: Phase 2 - Ionic Bond QUIZ: Control Group A outperformed Treatment 17% per question. Except: #4 Treatment Group B averaged 22% higher than Group A. The relationship of the quiz to the test for the corresponding question was significant (n = .0004). On the chapter test, Group B (treatment) outperformed Group A (control) on the isolated ionic bond question. The

treatment group scored 10% higher on the ionic bond question. This measure was significant (n < .01). Performance: Phase 2 Exothermic Reaction Control Treatment Performance: Phase 2 Exothermic Reaction Q1: What is an exothermic reaction? Q2: What information did you use to remember this? Correlation between student responses on question one and question two was significant (n= 0.03).

100% 80% 78% 72% 61% 60% 40% 66% 55% 54% 45%

64% 46% group B lecture group A comic strip 23% 20% Correct response to "Exothermic" vs. information used to recall meaning 0% Q#1 Q#2

Q#3 Q#4 question number Q#5 100 80 % students from group % of group with correct response

"exothermic reaction" post quiz results 78 72 61 60 40 20 23 0 treatment:comic strip control:lecture/notes

Group Q1 Q2 Performance: Phase 3 Student Comic Strips and vocabulary test scores. Student generated comic strip concepts correct on chapter test by performance subgroups number of students 30 26 25

22 21 20 15 10 students 24 21 16 14 9 9 15

11 8 6 6 9 9 11 11 7 7 5 students with comic concept correct 0

15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7

3-6 subgroups by performance 88% of the students correctly answered the unit test question related to their comic strip concept. The mean percentage score on the vocabulary test was 67%. Visual Subgroup Auditory Subgroup Kinesthetic Subgroup 2 Style Subgroup Core Subgroup Reading the dialogue silently to myself helped me understand the comic strips.

1-5 Averaged Likert_Response 1-5 Averaged Likert_Response 1-5 Averaged Likert_Response 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0

Student Perceptions: Exit Survey 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 5.0 4.5 4.0

3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Visual Subgroup Auditory Subgroup Kinesthetic Subgroup 2 Style Subgroup Core Subgroup I liked hearing the dialogue read out loud before trying to answ er the questions.

Visual Subgroup Auditory Subgroup Kinesthetic Subgroup 2 Style Subgroup Core Subgroup I think w orking w ith the comic strips w as a good use of time. Student Perceptions: Free Response Student Perceptions: Free Response Student Perceptions: Focus Group 11 - F02K: It was interesting 13 - F56T: I thought it was funny, and cool

15 - M06V: - It was a new experience I haven't seen before, that was science, and the rats and usually, I usually see stuff, that's usually like boring. 17 - F15T -It was funny, and you also got to learn a little bit about science while reading it. Conclusions: Literacy student artifacts data coding representative samples Demonstrated that the comic strip curriculum did provide a forum to promote science literacy. Students were thinking, talking and writing about science and science issues.

Conclusions: Literacy 68% of students met or exceeded the expected standard when creating a comic strip demonstrating an academic vocabulary concept. 62% of the students were able to create a meaningful dialog using three or more academic vocabulary terms correctly. The data used to evaluate science literacy was mainly qualitative. No claim can be made that the comic strips were more or less effective than other methodologies. Conclusions: Performance Ionic Bond Comic Strip Treatment: Quiz to Test performance on Ionic Bond question was significant (n = < .05). The presentation of the ionic bond concept improved performance, but only

on the isolated ionic bond questions. Conclusions: Performance Exothermic Reaction Comic Strip Treatment: The correlation between student responses on question one and question two was significant (n = 0.03). The better performance by the students from the treatment group was due to this image. Correct response to "Exothermic" vs. information used to recall meaning % students from group 100

80 60 78 72 61 40 20 0 23 treatment:comic strip control:lecture/notes

Group Q1 Q2 Conclusions: Student Perceptions The qualitative feedback from the student responses indicated that the comic strips appealed relatively equally to all of the subgroups. There is no hard data to support any claims of statistical significance. Implications: Comics strips may appeal to resistant readers or tuned out students. Could prove valuable in identifying

students Preconceptions misconceptions prior knowledge. Implications: Could prove valuable in identifying concepts for re-teaching. Could be a creative alternative standards assessment tool. Useful for introducing abstract concepts or for modeling difficult to visualize processes. Recommendations: Continue the use of the comic strips as a warm up in a less structured format. Add think about/talk about questions and

cut back on written responses. Using comic strips or other unique formats to improve literacy skills may increase students interest in all content areas. Limitations: Students knew their teacher was also the creator of the comic strips. The quantitative data seemed rather limited in its scope. Likert-Scale survey provided anecdotal feedback, but nothing definitive in terms of addressing different learning styles. Future Research: 1: Comic strips to identify

misconceptions in science? 2: Comic strips assessment tools? 3: What aspects of a comic strip motivate resistant readers? A Word of Thanks to: Dr. Michael Rivas Dr. Norman Herr Dr. Ken Berry Dr. Brian Foley My Colleagues in Science Cohort #2 Sharon Olson Katie and Andy Olson Mrs. Rhondi Durand and . . . Two figments of my imagination:

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