Representation is a complex concept requiring kindergartners to begin the work of understanding that something stands for, take the place of, or symbolizes something else. A fundamental component of communication is understanding representation. The use of symbols to represent ideas is a life-long skill supporting deeper cognitive understanding and is essential to accessing the world.
Representation can connect 9 of 10 content areas as detailed below.
Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
In comprehensive health and physical education, representation relates to the signs and symptoms of health and disease. For example, students must understand what their heart rate represents and be able to utilize that knowledge to inform and monitor their physical activity.
In dance, dances can be representations that symbolize the stories of people, places and things. Through dance, learners can gain an understanding of context from the personal stories or stories of cultures a dance may represent.
Drama and Theatre Arts
In drama and theatre arts, representation involves the ability to represent characters, settings, situations and feelings. Using body movements and facial expressions or choosing backgrounds in drama provide opportunities to represent every day or fictional situations.
In mathematics, representations are used to develop, share, and preserve mathematical thoughts. For example, kindergartners use representations to solve mathematical problems by drawing pictures and sharing answers to a problem by representing a quantity with numerals.
In music, representation is using musical structure to tell a story, or setting a feeling or mood. Examples of creating music to represent feelings or stories include using loud/soft dynamics or fast/slow tempos to match an individual’s feeling or a character’s traits.
Reading, Writing, and Communicating
In reading, writing, and communicating, representation focuses on understanding the meaning conveyed in the conventions of print and the use of illustrations. In kindergarten, this includes recognizing that letters make words and that words stand for ideas. Representation also involves understanding and applying the rules of capitalization, punctuation and spacing.
In social studies, representations provide opportunities to develop and communicate meaning of abstract ideas. In history, representation takes the form of timelines, charts, graphs, cartoons, and various other audio or visual means. In geography, students use representation through the various symbols such as those found on a map. The skill of representation is critical for students to access the world around them.
In visual arts, representation provides a medium for telling the stories of people and places. Through art, learners gain an understanding of context from personal stories or stories of a culture. Using visual literacy skills at an early stage to represent concrete objects prepares students for representing abstract ideas in the future.
In world languages, representation is shown through the symbols of the target language. Many languages use accents or other symbols to support intonation. Understanding these symbols facilitates appropriate and accurate oral and written communication. Languages also use culturally appropriate body language and gestures to represent concepts.
Summary Document: All standards pages for representation
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