When you ask a visual learner where they see themselves in five years, immediately they will picture themselves five years older, what they’re doing, and what they’re wearing.
Just like the name of their learning style, visual learners can picture things clearly, and love to watch as a way of learning something new.
One of my favorite activities with my students is to have them recreate a drawing of what they are learning about.
Specifically, during the long days of “Great Expectations” with a classroom filled with 28 squirely 9th graders, nothing does a class better than the chance to color and move around.
What could appear as an elementary and straightforward activity, though, provides beneficial learning opportunities for visual learners.
Through this assignment, students must “digest” information from the story, create a visual, and defend it to their group and class.
This higher-level thinking challenges visual learners to apply the information they have gathered in a new and exciting way.
By providing learning opportunities such as this one, I am giving visual learners a new method to demonstrate their understanding in their preferred learning style.
But, this example was just one day, from one class, in an entire school year.
Does your child struggle with traditional “stand and deliver” methods of teaching? Visual learners enjoy watching and observing as opposed to being told information.
In this series, we are exploring the ins and outs of learning styles to understand better how to best support students.
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What is a Visual Learner?
Visual (Spatial) learners prefer to learn by picturing the information as opposed to drilling it or reading about it.
They are whole-picture type thinkers and often glaze over little details to reach the main point.
Only after they understand the end-goal will they backtrack to the details and pay attention to them.
If you could take a peek into a visual learner’s brain, you would see whole pictures and movies replaying. Visual learners do not envision words or phrases.
Visual learners have vivid imaginations and often come up with random or unusual ways to solve a problem.
They learn best when they are taught information through demonstration.
This could be something as simple as a math teacher walking through an equation by writing it on the board while working on it. Visual learners love dissections and science experiments.
They love movies and thrive when they can create to show knowledge on different topics.
Visual learners are strong visual estimators and enjoy classes where they can create, such as art, shop, geometry, and computer design.
A visual learner is most likely to go into a creative career. This could be a creative director for a video company, an artist, an architect, a designer, even working in aerospace appeals to the visual learner!
Common Challenges for the Visual Learner
This makes it difficult for them to learn something new and try to complete their homework later that evening.
They love to work on the computer, but they require a lot of undivided attention to best learn the material.
This makes it difficult for a visual learner in the 21st century.
With the texts, Facebook notifications, TikTok, and Instagram, it can be challenging for a visual learner to maintain attention long enough to understand a lot of information.
Visual learners also struggle with traditional delivery of information.
Think about the teacher in Charlie Brown; that’s what a visual learner probably feels during a lecture.
Many visual learners will turn to doodling during instruction, which in turn can make them appear disinterested in this instruction.
Visual learners typically are not very coordinated. This means that even if they watch hours of how to perfect that Fortnite dance, they might still not be able to do it.
Applying Learning Style at School
They will likely do well in courses such as geometry and biology.
They enjoy solving and assembling puzzles.
When it comes to reading, a visual learner can struggle with phonics but recognize words easily.
Traditional note-taking methods are not beneficial for visual learners, and instead, they should consider mind maps or diagrams in place of long written out notes.
They may need some advocacy from parents to communicate with teachers their needs for a more visual representation of the content during class time.
This could be something as simple as additional maps or allowing students to doodle while learning.
Applying Learning Style at Home
With the availability of high-quality games that educate on a wide variety of topics, visual learners may find more success with classroom topics through playing games than sitting at a desk.
Another thing you can do with your visual learner is to provide them with pictures of what they are learning in class.
For example, if your child is struggling with understanding a famous Civil War battle, consider finding some maps that can help them visualize the information more clearly.
By finding these supports, you will be able to elevate your child’s learning and help them understand more deeply.
Engaging Activities for Visual Learners
Visual learners love virtual reality and photography.
When thinking of ways to engage your visual learner, think about challenging them to create something (sock puppets, playdoh art, even decorating cookies).
When a visual learner can picture something in their head and translate it to a product, they are happy learners!
ArgoPrep Support for a Visual Learner
The purchase of every workbook comes with access to the ArgoPrep resource center online.
Here you will find video explanations of all the information covered in the workbooks. This is perfect for a visual learner without creating more work for you! A win-win!
Opportunities for Visual Learners, too!
That percentage isn’t scary unless a visual learner is in a classroom setting that doesn’t appeal to their learning style (and the teacher is more comfortable with the method of verbal instruction).
Visual learners crave the picture associations with what they are learning. By taking a few additional steps, you can guarantee that your child will be enjoying their education more through the excitement created from understanding the material in a new and exciting way!
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