Today’s teaching tip is about appealing to the visual learners in your group. I’m in that category of learner – it’s my preferred method for learning. Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Many of the people in your group, from kids to adults, are visual learners.
No matter what kind of group you teach, here are a few ways to make learning more visual:
- PowerPoint or Keynote – either of these electronic presentation tools are great for helping visual learners connect with the Bible study topic. Caution: don’t use this every time you lead a group! It’s true that too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing. With technology today, you can actually run either of these programs from your tablet or smartphone. Connectors that will convert the signal to HDMI can be purchased at office supply stores or places like Best Buy (about $25-30).
- Vivid stories – Stories, you say?! Yes, stories! Although you may not think of a story as a “visual,” when you tell a vivid one with lots of details, people create pictures in their minds. The Apostle Paul was great at generating word pictures. He spoke of running races, boxing, and other things that planted images in the minds of his readers. Jesus did similar things as He taught. Don’t underestimate the power of a vivid story to appeal to your visual learners. Side benefit: this activity also appeals to your auditory learners, too! That’s a bonus.
- Demonstration – This creates a wonderful visual that’s “live and in person.” Once when I was teaching from Ephesians 4, I brought two raw eggs into my adult Bible study group. I divided the group into two teams, gave them 30 plastic straws and about a foot of masking tape. I instructed them to create something that would keep their egg from breaking when I dropped it from a height of 8 feet. They collaborated, created, and them I demonstrated. It was a powerful visual that helped me drive home the main point of that Sunday’s Bible study.
- Documents – Maps, charts, posters, handouts, diagrams, pictures, and drawings help visual learners engage and understand the concept you are teaching.
These things are not hard or time-consuming to produce, and if your church provides you with what I call “ongoing curriculum,” your leader guide is going to have suggestions for things like this – or at least it should!
The next time you guide a Bible study, get visual!
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