Sketch-to-Stretch Comprehension Strategy
Another strategy for science is called Sketch-to-Stretch (Harste, 2000). In fact, methods which “allow the reader to represent graphically (write or draw) the meanings and relationships of the ideas that underlie the words in the text” (NICHHD, 2000b, p. 4-6), are very beneficial in the classroom setting. When using the Sketch-to-Stretch strategy, students may visually represent what they are learning through drawing (Harste, 2000). They may draw a literal interpretation or something a bit more symbolic. It is important to emphasize that this activity is not about artistic ability, but rather about interpretation. While students create memorable images of what they are learning, they are having fun and storing valuable information into their brains.
This is an easy strategy to implement that does not require a great deal of explanation. Students may draw images that represent the text as a whole, a portion of the text, a scene, or even an important vocabulary term. They may sketch anything that seems important during the reading. Provide students with drawing paper and art supplies (crayons, coloring pencils, scissors, glue, colored paper) to encourage creativity. Emphasize that students must be able to explain their drawing in relation to the text that has been read.