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    Visual Thinking Strategies

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    A former educator, I taught elementary school over 10 years ago and visual thinking though it was known then as KWL- Knowing, Wanting and Learning was required structure for all of my lesson plans. I taught first grade and often had students with learning disabilities who struggled with interpreting in writing what they read and learned. One of my students loved to draw and I encouraged her to draw what she interpreted from the readings and my lessons. Once, when I conducted a lesson on ants, I was impressed by her creative and visual thinking strategies. When I asked her to draw an ant, the picture was as one might expect, a brown skinny and scary looking stick looking thing with antennas and legs. However, as a class, we then discussed ants in more detail, the way they live, the purpose they have in the environment, and the function of the different parts of an ant. Class discussion on externalizing their visual thoughts, followed by writing and drawing about what was learned was a process that helped these children thrive and grow in a learning environment. In particular, I watched this one student's drawings transform from an ugly, scary looking bug to a drawing that showed the kinder, gentler side of an ant and the important role they play in our environment. The lesson transformed from a knowing, and wanting to know to learning and stimulating young minds mind from interpreting perception and reality.

    As this article points out, visual thinking strategies, not only stimulate the thinking process but make visual thoughts visible to others (Ritchhart & Perkins, 2008). Visual thinking can be useful for doctoral learning as researchers presented with a topic to research, start with the visual thought process of what we know about the topic. There is the process of asking the questions, conducting the research, experiments, comparison to stimulate more learning, ideas, curiosity and inquiry. Ritchhart and Perkins (2008) paper about Project Zero and visual thinking supports the notion of a thinking exploration that is beneficial and transformational.

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    When a teacher uses visual thinking strategies, he or she facilitates the discussions based on visualization. By nature, our brains are created to remember visuals such as pictures, videos, charts, diagrams, drawings, and other imageries that can help students by motivating them to try their best to understand complex information. Research has proven that well-designed visualization as a ...

    Solution Summary

    Visual thinking strategy is described and its process is explained. The goals and benefits are determined. The solution is 284 words with two non-APA references.