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"They look around and examine the situation. They may stare when angry and beam when happy. Facial expression is a good indicator of emotion in the visual learner. They think in pictures and detail and have vivid imaginations. When extensive listening is required, they may be quiet and become impatient. Neat in appearance, they may dress in the same manner all the time. They have greater immediate recall of words that are presented visually. Visual learners like to take notes. Relatively unaware of sounds, they can be distracted by visual disorder or movement. They solve problems deliberately, planning in advance and organizing their thoughts by writing them down. They like to read descriptions and narratives" (

The above statement will most likely strike a chord with educators because visual learners and learning is the most common type of modality that we see in the school setting (approximately 65%, though the statistics vary). Not convinced? Record a lesson in its entirety and play it for your students, no visuals, no written directions; how do you picture that going? If, like me, you see this scenario going badly it is because it is inconceivable to run a classroom without visuals.

Many educators heavily use and rely on visual modality in lesson design and implementation. It incorporates everything from written directions, lesson goals, notes, and even the way a classroom is decorated and/or set up. Visual modality has the largest influence on a student's mood and is vital to keeping them grounded in the classroom environment. According to Roell, "visual learners typically do well in a modern classroom setting...after all, there are just so many visuals in classrooms" (


Tendencies/Characteristics of the Visual Learner

- Tend to sit closer to the front of the class

- Understand and engage better with diagrams, textbooks, illustrations, videos, charts, handouts, smart-boards

- "Predisposition for writing, drawing, imagining and prefer to create their own notes and read for themselves" (K & Helena, pg.19)

- Pick up on the pieces that make a concept, rather than the big picture

- Tend to work well in group a group structure

- Drawn to color

Strengths of Visual Learners (Roell, ThoughtCo.)

- Instinctively follows directions

- Easily visualizes objects

- Has a great sense of balance and alignment

- Is an excellent organizer

- Has a strong sense of color, and is very color-oriented

- Can see the passage from a page in a book in his or her mind

- Notices minute similarities and differences between objects and people easily

- Can envision imagery easily


Weaknesses of Visual Learners

- Seeing concepts as a whole

- Following verbal instructions

- Easily distracted

- Tend to daydream

- Transitioning

With the above characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of visual learners, we can start to get a picture of who they are and how we can help them in the classroom setting. As stated earlier in the course, most students rely on a combination of modalities to best learn but, it is safe to say that the visual one is the most encompassing of the three and the easiest to employ as an educator. Below you will find some helpful tips and suggestions for the visual learner, as well as some for the modern-day educator.

Suggestions for Visual Learners (K & Helena,pg.19)

- Write things down

- Jot down key points on post-it notes and display around the house

- Copy what's on the board

- Sit near the front of the classroom to see instructor clearly

- Write key words

- Create visual reminders of auditory info

- Use mind maps to summarize large tracts of information

- Take notes

- Make lists

- Watch videos

- Use flashcards

- Use highlighters, underlining, etc

Strategies for Teachers (Roell, ThoughtCo.)

- Supplement verbal lectures with a handout, diagram, or other visuals

- Incorporate color into your presentations, the classroom, and handouts

- Give written instructions and expectations

- Vary your reading in class with solitary reading time so visual learners will take in the information better

- Show your students how to complete a task instead of just telling your students how to complete a task

- Show students how to make great vocabulary flashcards

- Use video and still images to enhance your presentations

- Provide written feedback on assignments

Study Tips for Students and Lesson Design Tips for Teachers (Science Oriented)

Check for Understanding

Click on the following link to see if you hit the major points of this unit:

Unit 2 Review

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