Free Visualization Game: For Improved Reading, Writing, and Memory

Developing your student’s ability to visualize can provide them a “secret weapon” that can enhance learning capacity, improve memory and spark creativity.  In fact the research shows that visualization improves reading comprehension, creative writing abilities and the encoding and retrieval of math, history and science concepts.

Free Visualization Game:
I recently
finished a book that reviews the history and research behind visualization and
then provides teachers everything they need to assess and teach this complex
skill.  In celebration, I wanted to share
one of my favorite games, Picture This
and Draw
. The best part about this particular game is it not only develops the capacity to visualize, but works on verbal reasoning, expressive language, visual memory, fine motor integration, spatial skills, attention to details, and the ability to follow directions.  This game is one that I enjoy
playing with my own students.  In fact, I
played it this past week.  
Jenna and I went to opposite sides of the room with two pieces of paper and some colored markers. We each drew images on one piece of paper and then described our pictures in detail on the other piece of paper.  We hid our illustrations and then shared our descriptions with one another.  Our next task was to recreate the images by generating our own visualizations from the words and then drawing it on a blank piece of paper.  Once we finished, we compared the new drawings to the originals and analyzed the results.  
Jenna’s image is depicted to the right.  Please note that it is important to keep images very simple.  Below you will find a full description of the game.
Picture This and Draw:

Materials:
·     
Paper
·     
Colored
pencils or magic markers
Group Administration:
·         
Draw
a simple image, with no more than 3 – 6 very simple elements. 
·         
Have
one student or the teacher describe the image to the other students verbally or
in writing.  Use as many details as
possible. 
·         
Describe
the size, color, number, shape and the location of the objects on the
page. 
·         
Next,
have each student produce a drawing of his or her visualization based on the
description presented. 
·         
Make
sure each student can not see what the other students are drawing. 
·         
When
all the students have finished, share the drawings with the group and discuss
which student’s drawing is closest to the description. 
·         
Discuss
ways the presenter could have done a better job describing the image. 
·         
Review
each drawing and discuss what each student could do to improve his or her
visualizations. 
Individual Administration:
·          
You
can also play this game one-on-one.   
·          
Begin
by going to opposite sides of the room so that each player can not see each
other’s work (each player should have a set of colored pencils or magic markers
as well as two blank pieces of paper). 
·          
On
one page, both players should make very simple drawings with no more than 3 – 6
elements, as in Jenna’s image pictured above. 
·          
Then,
on the other page, each player should describe, in words, the image they drew
with as much detail as possible. 
·          
Next,
the players should share with each other the description of the image they
drew, while still concealing the drawing. 
·          
Each
player reads the other player’s description and completes a drawing based upon
it. 
·          
Finally,
the players compare their images and discuss in what ways improvements could be
made to the written descriptions, as well as the drawings.
If you would
like to learn more about the history of visualization and also access
assessment materials and many other fun activities and games that will teach
this needed skill, please come check out my new publication Mindful Visualization for Education as well as my two Teaching Visualization PowerPoints.


Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com, & www.learningtolearn.biz

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