Visual Aids and Why They are Important


Visuals aids are a great way to teach and share information on a wide variety of subjects from history to science. Visual aids are usually reserved for the classroom: “Teachers value the support that visuals lend to classroom instruction because they encourage students to make associations between pieces of information, soak up chunks of course content quickly, and function as a memory aid.”

In her article, “Making the Most of Visual Aids“, Jennifer Davis Bowman offers three benefits that could be taken from the classroom and brought into our National Parks:

  1. Sharing Intent
  2. Activating Discussion
  3. Creating Visual Aids as a Class

These benefits could be used to enhance activities in junior ranger books, improve the dissemination of information found on waysides, and help visitors to engage with important events, topics, and concepts.

One of the benefits of using visual aids is to increase students’ processing opportunities by using a think-aloud strategy to get students to interact with content and each other. Learn how to use think-alouds, watch a video related to it, and examine examples for practical use.


Upon reflection, identify ways that the think-aloud strategy and others mentioned in the article can be used within your park to benefit student visitors. You should identify a specific way each strategy discussed in the article can used at your park.


Davis Bowman, Jennifer. “Making the Most of Visual Aids”. Edutopia, 20 June 2018.

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  1. This article provides a great cursory discussion about the role of visual aids and their importance in the classroom setting. The article does explore the concept of co-creation in visual aids for the benefit of a greater group, and the discussions that process can generate.

    At surface value, this article would be a great resource for Environmental/Resource Education employees, but through some extrapolation, the concepts could be applied to interpretation in how it could potentially be applied to sharing authority and creating audience centered experiences.


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