Spice up your next class presentation assignment with a visual aid. Instead of having students stand in front of their peers and just talk to them, teach them how to engage the audience with visual props. Although making a poster or other presentation materials can be complicated, fun and easy ideas are available to create useful, attention-grabbing visual aids.
Writing out the title of the presentation on a poster-sized piece of paper using block letters makes a visual impact and clues the viewers as to what they are about to see and hear. Block letters on their own are easy to create, but they don't offer the height of fun. Instead of asking your students to write plain block words, have them use rainbow colors or fill in the letters with a pattern of shapes. Crowding a large number of small-sized shapes into one space will make the letters look almost solid from far away, but noticeably patterned up close. Another word-based option is to cut out letters in different fonts from magazines, and then paste them on the poster to form words. Even though words are informative, students can also use pictures to introduce a topic or theme. For example, draw a picture of the plant life cycle for a science poster or glue on photos of a specific location for a geography poster.
Encourage your students to think beyond static visual aids. Creating a video adds an imaginative touch and helps to elaborate on the presentation or reinforce points. Your students don't have to create complex video clips. Have them make simple visuals that are a minute or two long. They can use a video camera or cell phone to capture the images. This type of aid works well for how-to types of presentations in which the student doesn't have time to demonstrate a series of activities in class.
Make a Map
Maps make simple but effective visual aids for presentations and speeches. They can help the audience to better understand a location or the general geography of a place that the student is describing. For example, if a student is giving a report on her community, a neighborhood map can include specific points -- such as the library or grocery store -- along with directional arrows showing how to get to from one place to another. Your students can also make historical maps that detail battlefields or what an area used to look like for a social studies project.
Using computer software is an easy way for students to create graphic presentations. Students can make bulleted or numbered lists, add clip art or insert photographs into their visual aids. Encourage your class to get creative and explore different fonts and colors when typing the words. Using a word-processing program to create visuals is helpful when teaching students who aren't artistic or are struggling to draw their own posters and pictures. The software gives these students the ability to visually communicate what they are thinking without having to actually draw it.
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