Tips For Imaginative Educators #13: Play With Visual Formats

Title #2: The Power Of The Literate Eye

venn-diagram #imaginEDmap #imaginEDgraph #imaginED


Welcome back to the Tools of Imagination Series!  This tip is for any educator that teaches literate students–whether early or accomplished readers–if your students read, then their imaginations will be evoked when they get to play with different visual formats.

Add this to your cognitive toolkit:  literate students learn better when they have opportunities to engage with information in different visual formats.  Let them play with graphs, charts, tables, maps, lists, VENN diagrams, info graphics etc.

Why Is This A Cognitive Tool?

When we become literate the way we access information shifts.  Rather than gaining most of our information about the world through our ears (which is the case primarily for oral language users) we now access information actively through our eyes.  We de-code symbols all around us (language being one symbol system) all the time.  Afford your students opportunities to play with information visually and you will tap into this powerful feature of their imaginative literate lives.

map #imaginED

A Few Cool Resources

BBC iWonder – Could you be a courtier to the Sun King at Versailles?

This is a great link to some very interactive activities for teaching about Louis XIV.  What I want to point out is the section entitled: “Louis’ Life In Numbers”–you’ll see it.  

Or check out this article for K-12 English/Literature teachers:  5 Ideas For Using Infographics To Teach Classic Literature.

network #imaginED

So for whatever you teach next, ask yourself:

How could your students play with information through different visual formats and, thus, deepen, expand, or demonstrate understanding?

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