Visual Learners

The following is an excerpt from our book,
Taking the Mystery Out of Learning Styles.

Visual comes from a Latin word that means to see, applying here to things that can be learned through seeing. Your visual learner will learn best if he can look at the materials himself. If you allow him to read the directions, he will usually understand what to do. If a visual learner has been confused by a lesson, a picture, chart, diagram, or visual demonstration will help. This student will study and memorize the intricate details of a picture or poster just because it’s there. He would rather watch someone else perform a hands-on experiment than participate in it himself, because he learns best from watching. Oral explanations and discussion hold little interest for this student; he would rather be reading.

Try these learning aids with your visual learners:

  • Wall maps & charts
  • Pictures & posters
  • Flashcards
  • Colored pencils, markers, and highlighters
  • Colored index cards for do-it-yourself flashcards
  • Hand-held reference cards or charts
  • Puzzles
  • Matching games
  • Mnemonic devices (a word, phrase, or rhyme whose first letters relate to items in a list to be remembered)

If you, the teacher, are a visual learner, you probably prefer to give your students assignments to read. A visual learner can tolerate a higher degree of visual “clutter” in his environment than other types of learners can, which is good, since you love to cover the walls with educational posters and maps.

To reinforce and strengthen visual skills in your students, try these methods:

  • Observation games (alphabet game on car trips: spot an object or a word on a sign that starts with the letter “A,” then look for “B”…)
  • Memory games (List everything you can remember that was on the tray I just showed you.)
  • Color and contrast are important details in this student’s manipulatives
  • Writing with a variety of colored pens or pencils or highlighting with different colors
  • Writing or re-writing important notes, lists, etc. Writing out math problems step-by-step is especially helpful; keep them in a notebook to use as a reference
  • Board & table games, especially word games (ScrabbleTM, BananagramsTM) or strategy games (checkers, OthelloTM) [Games can cover all learning styles: you see it, you hear it, you handle it.]
  • CraniumTM games come in several varieties and exercise all learning styles.

See also:
Visual Learning
Learning Styles
Auditory Learners
Kinesthetic Learners
Tactile Learners

Diagnostic Tools to Help the Homeschooling Parent also includes information on learning styles!