The effect of viewing art on writing in grade four
The purpose of this study was to implement a pedagogy that would improve all students’ writing, whether academically vulnerable or not. More specifically, the pedagogy implemented was designed to focus on the two aspects of the grade four writing expectations, Meaning and Style. To facilitate the development of these qualities, an instructional method was designed to improve writing ability by viewing art, with critical thinking strategies and collaborative talk acting as a conduit. The instrument used to measure data collected was the British Columbia Performance Standards for Personal Writing in Grade 4. Data included three writing with art and collaborative discussion assessments and three writing without art assessment each (Weeks 1, 4 and 8) in an eight week study. The student participants were comprised of nine Grade Four students from a small rural and socio-economically and culturally diverse community. Quantitative results showed improved writing ability in the areas of Meaning and Style, however, the area of Meaning showed the strongest growth. Qualitative results were encouraging as they demonstrate the “affective” quality of engaging students in this pedagogy.