Teaching Students to See
in Their Mind's Eye
We live in a world with constant
visual stimuli. Students who can construct
pictures in their mind's eye (visual memory) can
use this skill to recall information. Recalling
information is a prerequisite for developing higher
order thinking skills. You can help students develop
this skill through some of the exercises that
follow. You can repeat these ideas, adding
more complexity as time goes on.
Give each student an envelope with four common objects, such as a
pencil, paper clip, rubber band, and coin. Have the same objects
on an overhead projector. Show them for five seconds, and then
cover the objects. Have the students duplicate the pattern.
A.) Alter the pattern, either the number of objects or their relative positions.
Again, have students duplicate the pattern. Repeat giving students
different time intervals.
B.) Repeat the procedure, but have them describe your pattern instead
of physically duplicating it. You are now incorporating tactile
and kinesthetic skills.
Have them close their eyes and describe what they are wearing in great detail.
A.) Repeat, but have them describe what you are wearing.
B.) Repeat, but have them describe another student's attire.
Have students close their eyes and describe a room in their home with
much detail as possible.
Have them draw or write this description.
When they go home, they can compare their results to the real thing.
Have them picture something familiar, such as a dog. Ask specific visualizing
questions, such as it's color, size, and shape. Tactile/kinesthetic
learners might also include its feel and texture. Auditory learners
might recall the sound of it's barking.
Have a student stand in front of the class. The class has ten seconds
to look and observe. The student goes outside and changes five
things. She comes back in, and students look again, trying to determine
what has changed. The student might roll a cuff, remove an earring,
or button a button.
Have the students locate a specific page in a textbook that has a well-outlined
picture. At your signal, have them open the book for a few seconds,
trace the outline of the picture, and then close the book. With books
closed, have them outline the figure on their desks.
Repeat with a new page, but this time have them describe what they saw
to a neighbor, instead of outlining the figure the second time.
Repeat using another page, but now have them sketch the outline of the
page without tracing it first.
Next have them go back to the same page and look for greater detail.
Always have students discuss their experiences, explaining which methods worked
best for them. This will give you clues to their preferred learning styles.
See, "How to Recognize Learning Styles."
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