Double what students remember by making the lesson visual. There are many ways to make a lesson more visual. Many of the methods increase memory even more because the students participate with the things they see and here.
Collect items that have a great significance to your subject and let the students see and handle the objects. An excellent example of materials available for teachers would be the Kansas Historical Society Traveling Trunks. The historical society provides hands-on materials for a variety of subject, from Indian Homes in Kansas to Trading on the Sante Fe Trail. Teachers who travel are able to pick up items that represent different parts of the world that is covered in their curriculum.
Also falling within the realms of visual aids are charts and pictures. Hang them on the wall or hold them in your hand. Pointing out the various bits of information, in living color, will draw the eyes of the students to the material. Check out Science Kids for free science pictures, photos and images. Download what you need and print them off or use a projector and show it on the white board. While you are at it, remember that experiments and demonstrations also make your lessons more visual.
Think about wearing a costume that fits your subject. Wear a lab coat to introduce chemistry or health. A Cat in the Hat hat and shoes are great devices to use to get the students’ attention when you are doing a reading unit about Dr. Seuss. Imagine the student attention you would receive if you walked into the room dressed as a member of the royal family when you introduce a unit on England!
DVDs and snippets
Eyes and ears turn to watch and learn when an interesting short or video is used to teach a subject. You don’t have to use the entire video to teach a concept. There are a lot of short videos that teach a subject for anything from volcanoes to adverbs.
Give your students a part of the lesson to demonstrate to the class. Encourage them to make videos, a Powerpoint, create a skit or create visual aids. The students will be attentive because, not only are they seeing it, it is being presented by their friends.
Cover two desks or a table with a sheet and create a puppet show. Let the puppets introduce new ideas or refresh old ideas as the students watch or ask students to create the puppet show for you.
These wonderful, interactive boards are a great asset to the classroom. Students work in collaboration with one another as they interact with the Smart board and each other.
Don’t under estimate the board of using the chalk/white board or the overhead projector in the classroom. Once again, students can view the materials or work with the materials as a group or for an individual lesson. Small, hand-held white boards also help make a lesson more visual as each student draws or writes whatever the teacher or another student demonstrates on the board. One way of doing this is to introduce a lesson on grids. Draw a giant grid on the board. Pick co-ordinates for three ships and play your own version of Battleship on the chalk/white board. The kids will have to look at the grid and figure out where to hit next.
Use your imagination. Almost any lesson can be turned in to a visual lesson with a little creativity on the part of the teacher.