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How To: Adjust Your Teaching Style to Your Students' Learning Style
How to Home
How To: Adjust Your Teaching Styles to Students' Learning Styles
How To: Develop as a Professional
How To: Implement Standards, Curriculum, and Assessment

Teaching Students to See in Their Mind's Eye
Benna Golubtchik

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.

  1. 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. 

    1. 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.
    2. B.) Repeat the procedure, but have them describe your pattern instead of  physically duplicating it. You are now incorporating tactile and kinesthetic skills.

  2. Have them close their eyes and describe what they are wearing in great  detail.
    1. A.) Repeat, but have them describe what you are wearing.
    2. B.) Repeat, but have them describe another student's attire.

  3. Have students close their eyes and describe a room in their home with as 
    much detail as possible. 
    1. Have them draw or write this description. 
    2. When they go home, they can compare their results to the real thing.
  4. 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.

  5. 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. 

  6. 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.
    1. 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.
    2. Repeat using another page, but now have them sketch the outline of  the page without tracing it first.
    3. 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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