The current study examines the progress of 8th-grade student drawings and written explanations of chemical phenomenon, subsequent to being involved in an instructional strategy that explicitly involves drawing as a supportive toll to construct scientific explanations. Additionally, the study examines the association between the representation of specific conceptual elements, such as structure, motion, and interactions, and the explanatory level of students’ written explanations. These goals were addressed by comparing the students’ collected drawings and explanations by applying the same open-ended question before and after the instructional strategy. Results show that after the instructional strategy significantly more students created more accurate drawings and drawings depicting more conceptual elements. Additionally, the students’ written explanations significantly changed, progressing from descriptive accounts to discussions of specific underlying mechanisms at the submicroscopic level. Furthermore, the association between students’ written explanations and drawings was stronger after the strategy. This study strengthens the argument for drawing interaction in explanation construction.
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