As week seek to find the best ways of educating our students, it may be helpful to explore the three basic learning styles. These styles are preferences by people for how they best take in information. They are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (hands-on). This post focuses on visual learners who make up approximately 40 percent of the school age population. These children will recall best the things that are seen or read. To be even a little more specific and to make things a little more complicated, there are the visual/verbal learners and the visual/nonverbal learners.
So how do you know if your child is a visual/verbal learner or a visual/nonverbal learner? The visual/verbal child learns best when they see written materials. They benefit from information gained through books or notes. They tend to like to study alone in a quiet room. They often seen information in their mind when trying to remember something.
On the other hand the visual/nonverbal learner needs to see information presented visually. Rather than using words, they like to see it in a picture or design format. In the classroom, this person will enjoy the use of visual aids like films, videos, diagrams, maps and charts. Like the visual/verbal learner, they also like to work in a quiet room rather than with study groups. This type of learner may have an artistic side that enjoys visual art and design. When trying to remember something, they can often visualize a picture of it in their mind.
Some other general truths about visual learners are that they are generally better at reading, spelling, and handwriting. They like to watch things and will notice details. They may have more trouble following verbal directions and are easily distracted by noise. They like to doodle on their paper and will memorize things by seeing those things written on paper.
So let’s get practical! Here are some learning strategies that will work in the Bible class setting for visual learners. I have combined the ideas for both types of visual learners together since so many of these ideas fit both categories.
- Use the whiteboard, overhead projector, or PowerPoint when teaching class.
- When you want to emphasize certain material, color code information using a highlighter pen to highlight different kinds of information in contrasting colors.
- Summarize key information from your Bible lesson by writing or illustrating it on paper or on the whiteboard.
- Make flashcards with concepts that needs to be memorized. Limit the amount of information on each card so the mind can take a mental “picture” of the information.
- When learning through the use of a diagram or map, write out explanations for the information (for the visual/verbal learner).
- Use maps, charts, and timelines to go with lessons.
- Always use a visual when teaching the lesson. Think pictures, black light stories, flip charts, or photos that go with the lesson.
- Let children take notes as you teach, if they find that helpful.
- After the Bible story, have children create illustrations of things that were discussed in the story.