Literacy PK-3

Systems Change
Literacy PK-3 > Strategies > Pictures & Visuals

Pictures & Visuals


Visuals help students recognize relationships within words and sentences to develop reading skills. Using visual aids, such as pictures, diagrams, and charts, allows for additional processing time and supports learners by breaking down a skill into more manageable parts.

Use It in the Classroom

Hear how this teacher uses picture clues to teach reading. By using picture books with strong illustrations, she supports Vocabulary development, leading to deeper comprehension, and retrieval of concepts from Short-term Memory.

  • Using visual aids can lead to clearer delivery of content and greater retention of key concepts in Long-term Memory. Visual aids also serve an important role in maintaining student Attention and are a touchpoint for students to refer back to on their own, as external memory aids and individual practice.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Watch how developers of InferCabulary created an app that uses visuals to teach Vocabulary. By presenting five related images, learners practice inferring the meaning of unfamiliar Vocabulary words. Seeing images in addition to text further reinforces the definitions of the words, leading to greater retention in Long-term Memory.

  • For a developer, creating visual aids that pair with media, such as text and audio, can make language more accessible to learners. Meaningful visuals support learners' recognition of essential information, and providing a visual cue enhances a learner's ability to accurately retrieve the content associated with the visual. [Please read the Hutton source for a description of why still images are more effective than animation.]
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy