Master of Education Research Theses

Date of Successful Defense


Date Degree Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M.Ed.)




Timothy L. Heaton, Ph.D.


visuals, imagery, science, vocabulary, elementary, fourth grade


This mixed methods study examines the correlation of effective visuals and science vocabulary acquisition and asks the question, “Does the use of effective visuals enhance science vocabulary acquisition and the resulting expression of that vocabulary?” Thirty-one students from two elementary schools in Clyde, North Carolina participated in this study and were randomly assigned to four different instruction interventions: a Word Only method, in which an oral presentation of the word was given; a Picture Presentation method, in which a word was paired with a picture; an Image Creation—No Picture method, in which the participants were required to create an image of the vocabulary word presented and draw it on paper; and an Image Creation—Picture method in which participants were presented a picture and required to draw it on paper. The results demonstrated that the intervention groups of Picture Presentation and Image Creation—No Picture consistently scored a greater cumulative mean on both an immediate recall assessment, conducted 24 hours following the intervention, and the delayed recall assessment, which was conducted two weeks following the intervention. Student perceptions gathered from open-ended interview questions further supported the interpretation that the use of visuals positively impacts student knowledge and effort.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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