Monday, 3 May 2021

The Frayer Model

The Frayer Model is a graphic organiser of information which was developed by Dorothy Frayer and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin in 1969.  It is intended to support students as they analyse vocabulary in an engaging way.  This webpage has a good overview of the model.

This visual representation comprises 4 boxes:
  • Definition: defining the concept, word or term
  • Facts: describing its essential characteristics.  When I was creating my examples, I found it difficult to differentiate between Definition and Facts.  However Facts is sometimes shown as Characteristics, which I think makes the difference clearer.
  • Examples: providing examples of the concept or word
  • Non-examples: knowing what a concept or word isn't helps to define what it is.  This box is sometimes shown as Common Errors or Misconceptions, which are sometimes more suitable.
I first found out about Frayer Models thanks to a tweet by @i_teach_things:

Seeing how useful they can be for English, maths and science, I decided to have a go at creating some for Languages.  

The first one I did was for Spanish accents:

Spanish accents are pretty simple compared to French, and I was able to fit them all on one Frayer Model.  However, having done further examples for the French accents (like the cedilla one above) I think it's better to have one single concept per Frayer Model.  Then the text can be bigger and the information clearer.

Languages Frayer Models can be used as display resources or for information for students.  I think there would also be value in students using the format to demonstrate their understanding of key grammatical terminology and core vocabulary, perhaps as part of the revision process.


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