We are all beautifully unique and absorb information differently. Indeed, some learn through sounds like auditory learners, others learn through experience like kinesthetic learners, while others remember more what they see as visual learners. And, in this article, whether you’re an educator or parent, you’ll learn different strategies for visual learners to help your children and students better perceive their environment, grow, and flourish. So, let’s dive in to expand how we can make the classroom an equal place for everyone to learn together.
What Does It Mean To Be a Visual Learner?
Did you know the brain processes 90% of information visually? It’s true, and visual learners learn best when they are able to remember information through sight. They use various methods like charts, graphs, and pictures to process the material presented to them. But beyond using visual aids, there are several other strategies to help you or your loved ones retain information.
4 Strategies for Visual Learners in the Classroom
1. Visual timelines
Do you need to teach a history lesson or tell a story? Well, a visual timeline is the perfect way to achieve the goal. You can use symbols, objects, or images chronologically to help students identify and remember a sequence of events. As you guide them through the visual timeline, they will connect to the words you’re saying with the images you’re presenting. As a bonus, it will captivate their attention to remain motivated and disciplined.
2. Body movement
Interestingly, like kinesthetic learners, body movement also applies to helping visual learners process information. For example, while teaching new vocabulary or telling a story, rely heavily on your body along with pictures to help convey the message. Act out the different animals, use your body to drive the meaning of verbs, and use your hands as shadow puppets to create characters. Not only will it grasp their attention and give you a few laughs, but it will help kinesthetic and visual learners to remember and retrieve information.
While this tip is self-explanatory and is already widely practiced in classrooms, it’s worth mentioning its efficacy. Indeed, using whiteboards with different colored markers to teach will help visual learners make sense of the information presented. Moreover, what’s beautiful about this tip is that it applies to every learner. For example, if you’re teaching a new word, you can direct the classroom to say it together (auditory), write it on the board in a colored marker than the previous words (visual), and act out the word (kinesthetic).
4. Make use of visuals
Like visual timelines, your goal as a parent or educator is to use various visual aids to help your students. Here are a few examples that will allow them to understand and remember more effectively.
- Charts – In mathematics, create a chart to teach students to help them remember the differences between geometric shapes
- Venn diagrams – Choose a topic like vegetables and fruits for comparisons and contrasts
- Graphs – Use various graphs to teach mathematical concepts
- Flashcards – Teach new vocabulary with photos
- Get creative and use puppets or toys to tell stories and explain challenging concepts – it will make the information more engaging and easier to remember
7 Study Strategies for Visual Learners
1. Write down new information
If you or a loved one is a visual learner, make a habit of writing down new information. Doing so will allow them to make a mind-body connection to better remember the details. In fact, it activates several areas in the brain to create better memory recall. And bonus, it doesn’t require a lot of additional time while studying.
2. Visual routine
It’s easy for children to get overwhelmed by their daily responsibilities. But if you write down their routine using a whiteboard and markers, they have a clear roadmap that explains when and where. Furthermore, it’s a great coping strategy to teach self-regulation, reduce anxiety, and foster independence. For example, if they’re feeling overwhelmed about an aspect of their day, they can follow their visual routine to provide a sense of security and grounding.
As mentioned earlier, visual aids like flashcards are the best strategies for visual learners to retain new concepts. Indeed, simply hearing the information won’t help your student. They need to see the word with an image to make a connection. Therefore, buy or create flashcards to teach new concepts, even abstract ones. You can also play flashcard games to gauge their interest while encouraging learning.
4. Color coding
Students can create a color-coded chart to understand new material. For example, label one column “New vocabulary ” in the color green, another “Definitions” in blue, and the last “Examples” in purple to form a sentence with a new word. They could even create a fourth column labeled “Questions” to jot down any points or ideas that need more clarification. Additionally, while we’re on the topic of using color, grab a packet of highlighters to highlight key points while reading to facilitate memorization. For example, use green to highlight key points and red to highlight information you’re unsure about.
5. Mind maps
If you notice a student is stuck, inspire them with the mind map idea. It’s a fun way to represent ideas or information. For example, draw a circle and enter the main topic. Then create branches of sub-topics stemming from the main topic to expand connection. Mind maps encourage visual learners to organize their thoughts and understand the relationships between various concepts. And the best part is that you can use them for simple or complex ideas: They apply to both!
6. Take breaks
Whether your student is a visual or auditory learner, everyone benefits from taking a break to regroup and recollect. Indeed, after teaching arduous concepts, allow time to practice energizing breaks for kids to process the new information. It will reduce overwhelm while reinforcing motivation.
7. Encourage students to sit upfront
Visual learners will certainly benefit from sitting up front in the classroom. It will assist them in drowning out distracting stimuli while providing a front-row seat to visual aids. Furthermore, connecting the material to the teachers’ body movements and facial expressions will better allow them to digest what they’re learning.
Remember, everyone is different and we all have unique learning styles that help us process the world around us. Therefore, use this list of strategies for visual learners as a guide to explore what works best for your student.
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