-photo by me-
Preparing a lesson plan with its basic elements (lesson objectives, standards’ alignment; NGSS and common core standards, students’ background and prerequisites, needed lesson materials, lesson procedure, timing, transitions between activities, sequencing, differentiation and assessment) is crucial for a successful learning environment. Adding to this, enriching the lesson plan with visual representations and assuring the adequate implementations takes your lesson to the next level and lead to a for a more effective, efficient and engaging lesson.
First, what are visual representations?
Visual representations can be any of the followings: photos, diagrams, images, schema ,charts, graphs, tables, models, concept maps, animations, avatars, comics, illustrations and icons. The choice of visuals rely basically on the lesson needs and requirements, and on students’ age level!
Why do we advice to incorporate visual representations in lesson plans?
Incorporating visual representations into the different steps of the learning process helps :
- in transmitting and processing of the knowledge. Humans are 90 % visual beings by nature; 90 percent of information transmitted to our brain is visual. We process visual data 60,000 times faster than text.
- students in understanding complex concepts. Visual representations show more things. They can communicate the most complex concepts in the most comprehendible ways. Moreover, visual representations can be used the other way round where students develop their own visual representations to demonstrate their understanding of complex concepts.
- in increasing students’ motivation. Visuals grab kids attention. They are more appealing to kids than plain texts. They increase students’ interest and are related to the kids’ visual information world
- in enhancing students’ working memory and in creating enduring understandings. Visuals summarize content into smaller chunks that make the working memory more efficient.
- relating the concepts to real life situations. Representations are the most realistic models of real life. They quickly triggers the brain and connect to reality.