8 top tips for using visualisers to enhance literacy

Chris Deeley

Chris Deeley is Managing Director of Elementary. He has nearly 20 years' experience in the Audio Visual (AV) Industry servicing schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions with AV solutions. In 2009, recognising the potential educational benefits of Visualisers, Chris launched thevisualisershop.com (a division of Elementary) the only dedicated comparison website to sell Visualisers to customers across the UK and Eire. Since it launch, the business has fast developed a high level of expertise and knowledge in advising a wide range of education sector customers on Visualisers and document camera solutions, with free demonstrations available for educational establishments.

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Here is the second article in our series on maximising the use of visualisers across different curriculum areas. We'll be looking at literacy and English classes from key stages one to four.

Use visualisers at key stages one and two to help in building a foundation of basic literacy concepts:

  • Show the class how to use a dictionary or thesaurus. Then ask the children to come up and look up words, to check they have understood.
  • Use for guided reading and writing work. You can clearly demonstrate procedures such as letter formation for the whole class to see.
  • Build up word lists for spelling and comprehension and use a ‘conceal and reveal’ technique.
  • Show any sort of text, image or drawing. Any small book becomes large and visible. The whole class can see any printed item without the need for photocopying.
  • Whilst reading aloud, place items that are in the story on the visualiser to help younger children to understand more fully and engage different learning styles.

Use visualisers at key stages three and four to strengthen grammar, comprehension and writing skills:

  • Compare different writing styles. For example, show a piece of poetry side by side with a piece of narrative and show how they differ.
  • Show any sort of text, image or drawing without the need for photocopying.  Saves time and money and allows you to share copyright protected material.
  • Highlight passages in books for class discussion. Some visualisers have interactive pens, or combine with an interactive whiteboard to draw attention to specific passages or phrases.

You can incorporate demonstrative, explanatory, peer assessment and critical thinking skills with more effectiveness by using a visualiser in your literacy lessons. The above tips will go a long way towards making your lessons more interactive, and helping young pupils retain their literacy learning more effectively.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive and we'd be intrigued to hear of other ways that teachers have used a visualiser to enhance the teaching of literacy. If you have an innovative technique in mind, do leave a comment below.


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