As you may know, I’m a big fan of visuals in therapy. Today I’m sharing a quick tip for adding in visual support when it’s not built in to the lesson or activity: have your students draw them! Use a dry erase board, or even just a scrap sheet of paper. Yes, it’s really that earth shattering. ;D
I especially love this approach for story retelling, or when working through reading passages with older students. You know, those times when we’re wanting our kids to remember larger chunks of information or show comprehension of something they’ve read or heard. As a bonus, it’s a great way to keep students focused and engaged with a task that may be hard for them. You know those students who can just shut down when they see homework or a worksheet without pictures? While adding visual pictures or cue cards is a GREAT way to help our students out, sometimes we want to encourage our students to become more independent or work on carryover skills to the classroom. Ask your students to illustrate a story as you read it to them or draw a cue for themselves after each step of the directions in the homework. Stick figures are totally fine! And who knows, you may have a little artist on your hands that completely thrives under thinking through things visually.
This is a great technique to pair with my Short Stories with Inferential Questions resource (pictured above). Inferencing can be tricky–it’s learning how to think through a situation when not all the information is given. Drawing out what’s happening can help students visualize the scene and break it down into chunks.
How else do you use student drawings in therapy?