How To Teach Visual Spatial Learners

Sharpen your pencils! Visual Spatial learners learn best through pictures and illustrations. Visual Spatial learners think in pictures. Once they have a picture of the concept, they’ve got it! No need for repetition and drill.

They do not learn sequentially so “traditional” teaching methods and curriculum only lead to frustration and poor academic performance.

Visual Spatial Learners:

  • Think in pictures
  • Recognize faces, objects, shapes, colors, details, and scenes
  • Have a good sense of direction
  • Need to understand the big picture before getting into the details
  • Do not learn sequentially (step-by-step)
  • Learn by seeing and observing
  • Use visual images to recall information
  • Enjoy doodling, drawing, painting, and sculpting
  • Often reverse letters when writing
  • Do not learn through repetition and drill
  • Discover patterns easily
  • Doodle while listening

How To Choose Visual Spatial Homeschool Curriculum

Choose curriculum that can be read aloud, has manipulatives, or is experimental in nature. Look for resources that focus on the big picture of a subject, patterns, and relationships rather than facts and sequential steps. Avoid workbooks and textbooks (in most cases).

Reading (and read alouds) allow visualization of the stories. Use videos, computer programs, lapbooks, notebooking, and hands-on projects.


Visual Spatial learners benefit from visual aids when learning new information and for getting their thoughts on paper. Look for resources that utilize flow charts, concept mapping, graphic organizers, and art.

These learners are brilliant with content yet struggle with the mechanics of writing. Remember, best-selling authors have editors! Avoid curriculum that emphasizes spelling, grammar, and capitalization.


Reading (and read alouds) allow Spatial learners to visualize the stories in their minds.


Visual/pictorial aids and manipulatives are a necessity in math. Use illustrations and stories to teach facts and processes. Color code steps for solving math problems. Spatial learners excel with concepts but struggle with details and computations.


Visual Spatial learners often struggle with learning to read. Use a phonics and whole word approach to reading. Since they think in pictures, connect letter sounds with pictures. Give them plenty of time with this.


Use flow charts and graphic organizers for visualizing information. Use reading (and read alouds), videos, computer programs, lapbooks, notebooking, and plenty of hands-on experiments.

Visual Spatial Learning Activities

Visual Spatial learners think in pictures so use graphical and pictorial methods of working with ideas and presenting information. When planning lessons ask yourself…

  1. How can the topic be illustrated?
  2. How can my child ‘show’ me what he has learned?

Teach Lessons Using…

  • Visuals – “a picture is worth a thousand words”
  • Flow charts to teach processes
  • Colored pens to distinguish parts (show parts of speech in a sentence, spelling patterns, divisor/dividend, etc.)
  • Videos
  • Field trips
  • Highlighting, underlining, and drawing images while teaching
  • Discovery – capitalize on your child’s pattern-finding strengths
  • Reading aloud
  • Visuals hung up around the room (i.e. Greek & Latin word parts)
  • Unit charts to introduce the big picture

Have Your Visual Spatial Learner…

  • Draw while listening to lectures
  • Use webbing to brainstorm, organize information for writing (pre-writing), or analyze stories and characters
  • Use concept mapping to show knowledge of a subject and its relationships
  • Map locations of a story setting, historical events, geographical features
  • Work with math manipulatives
  • Use graphic organizers for just about everything. Introduce or recap a unit, analyze literature, explain cycles and sequences, pre-writing and brainstorming
    are just a few examples.
  • Create storyboards for creative writing and literary analysis
  • Dramatize or demonstrate the concept
  • Draw pictures of events on a timeline
  • Research using websites and videos
  • Create picture cards for learning spelling words, math facts, etc.
  • Create graphs and charts to show the results of research assignments or to answer workbook questions
  • Construct models
  • Create collages, posters, and murals of a concept or to summarize a unit
  • Use computer software such as Eyewitness Encyclopedia

Find homeschool curriculum suited for visual spatial learners and a downloadable lesson ideas worksheet at  Jena Names is a homeschooling mother of three and learning styles advisor. She created Custom Homeschool Curriculum to educate parents on learning styles and to give them tools and advice for choosing the right homeschool curriculum.

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One Response to “How To Teach Visual Spatial Learners”

  1. Wow! My son is a visual-spatial learner and this is a very thorough list! Great work.
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