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S-1. Concept Definition Mapping

What is it?

Concept definition mapping (Schwartz, 1988) is a strategy for teaching students the meaning of key concepts. Concept definition maps are graphic organizers that help students understand the essential attributes, qualities, or characteristics of a word’s meaning. Students must describe what the concept is, make comparisons, tell what it is like, and cite examples of it.

How could it be used in science instruction?
This strategy provides a structure for students to organize their understanding after they have completed an activity and/or read about a concept. It gives students an opportunity to explain their understanding and to elaborate by citing examples from their own experiences.

S-2. Frayer Model
What is it?
The Frayer model (Frayer, Frederick, & Klausmeier, 1969) is a word categorization activity that helps learners to develop their understanding of concepts. Two versions of the Frayer model are included in this manual. In the first, students provide a definition, list characteristics, and rovide examples and nonexamples of the concept. In the second, students analyze a word’s essential and nonessential characteristics and refine their understanding by choosing examples and nonexamples of the concept.

How could it be used in science instruction?
There are many concepts in science that can be confusing because of their close relationships (e.g., physical change/chemical change). This strategy provides students with the opportunity to understand what a concept is and what it is not. It gives students an opportunity to explain their understanding and to elaborate by providing examples and nonexamples from their own lives.

S-3. Semantic Feature Analysis
What is it?
Semantic feature analysis (Baldwin, Ford, & Readence, 1981; Johnson & Pearson, 1984) helps students discern a term’s meaning by comparing its features to those of other terms that fall into the same category. When students...
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