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ptong's picture

Picture Books and Visualization

Upon reading "Ask the Cognitive Scientist: The Privileged Status of Story" I thought about my elementary school days and wondered what captivated me during story time. One thing I distinctly remember were the vivid colors on each page. I was always spellbound by the images printed in the books. To me the pictures were what told the story. As I grew older picture were replaced by more words, but because of earlier exposure to so many picture books, I started to visualize the stories in my head while reading.

When we watch a movie that is based on a book, many of us come out of the theater thinking "Was that better than the book?" or "How much of the movie was true to the novel?" We ask ourselves these questions because we already have a mental image of what we thought the movie should be based on the book we read.

What I'm getting at is imagination might be an important factor to being successful in the sciences. Even though science, for the most part in grade school, is memorization, imagination is an extremely useful tool. By exposing younger students to more visual aids they can develop their mental-visual skills. It will prepare them for high school when they learn microbiology and other concepts which they can't see with the naked-eye. I see how it can frustrating to learn something you can't see, but this imagination technique might be useful.

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