Nonlinguistic Representation:
Nonlinguistic Representation is the use of visual, kinesthetic, and whole-body systems to acquire and store knowledge. Mental images and physical sensation combined with linguistic modes allow students to better reflect and recall knowledge. Students can use a variety of activities to produce nonlinguistic representation, the end purpose being to elaborate on their knowledge.

The authors of Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works recommend these five strategies for classroom practice: (p. 87)

  1. The use of graphic organizers to represent knowledge.
  2. Having students create physical models of the knowledge.
  3. Having students generate mental pictures of the knowledge they are learning.
  4. The use pictures or pictographs to represent knowledge.
  5. Having students engage in kinesthetic activities representing the knowledge.

The use of graphical representations was shown in Marzano's work to have one of the highest impacts on student's learning. Images convey information quickly. According to research done at 3M we process images 66,000 times faster than text. Part of this has to do with level of abstraction with text being the most abstract and a photo the least abstract.

For the kinesthetic, research has been going on for years. One of the best examples of the fruition of this research is the Nintendo Wii with its very tactile approach to games. This technology will become more available and applicable to education settings in the near future. Robotics and robotic control applications have been and continue to make inroads in this area as well.

Word Processing Application
Nearly all word processing applications include the ability to insert clip art or photos. Even at the PreK and K levels this feature can allow for the enhancement of linguistic learning with images. Clicker 5 from Creek Software takes this to another level by allowing students to write in the application using images.

Spreadsheet Software
Spreadsheet software enables learners to make charts and graphs based on the data entered. Even young students can gather data and use a program such as the graph club to view nonlinguistic representations of the data. Inspire Data is a new tool from the Inspiration company that provides excellent visualization tools for representing data.

Organizing and Brainstorming Software

Data Collection Tools


Web Resources