Whether you agree with different learning styles or not, it’s largely common knowledge that a lot of people remember better when an image is attached to the memory – sometimes to create a story. Derren Brown advocates this technique in his Tricks of the Mind book. Sometimes something is just better cemented because an image was matched with it.
When starting to teach the Romans I had students trace and colour the stages of the Roman empire. This brought home that this was a large area to govern – over different continents as students had to account for the African colonies - and also the waves of conquest over many hundreds of years. Lots of students would have noticed these things by just looking at the book, but it seemed more got it by tracing – the act of following all that coastline and colouring in England in the final stages of the empire communicated the magnitude of the operation more effectively.
Picture to text
Sometimes there’ll be tougher or unfamiliar terminology in a text. Copy the material but also copy images depicting the tougher words. Students need to match the image to the right word based on collaboration or research, and then stick it down as appropriate. I used this when teaching English to support understanding of a poem, but it also worked in History for some of the terms in the Doomsday book.
It’s inevitable that students will need to make notes at one point or other, but sometimes you can mix up the structure to help them stick. Have them make notes around a map so that they need to sort points around the relevant country, or an appropriate diagram, or a painting or photo related to the topic.
About the Author
Julie Murray is Education Licences Manager at CLA, which means she trains and educates licensees in schools, further and higher education institutions about CLA licences and how they fit into the wider world of copyright. Prior to working at CLA, Julie was Head of History and Politics at an 11-18 comprehensive in London.
What are your ideas for using images in the classroom? Let us know in the comments below ⬇