I recently finished a publication, Mindful Visualization for Learning, 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.
What is Visualization
Visualization is an internal, cognitive tool that enables student to picture imagery in their mind's eye. Like a dream, stories, past experiences and even future events are imagined on an inner sketch pad.
How Visualization Improves Academics
Visualization is important because it aids in memory encoding and retrieval. In addition, it is a vital tools for working memory which boils down two cognitive processes: visualization and one's inner voice. In fact, I tell all my students that it is the secret weapon to learning, and when we develop this skill, memory can be virtually a "no brainer."
Free Visualization Sample Game
This sample game can also be download on the product page: CLICK HERE
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
- Colored pencils or magic markers
- 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.
- 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.
Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren
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