Learner increases marks by 60% using pictures to study

Aaron[1] in Grade 7 increased his marks for History and Geography from 10% to 70% in one term using pictures to learn.  Impossible, you say?  Nope.  Here’s his story.

At the end of term 1 with a History and Geography mark of 10% Aaron’s mom, Theresa[2], was very worried.  The school called her in to discuss what could be done.

Now, Theresa had been following my work for a year or so.  She asked if I could spend some time with her son and teach him how to use pictures to learn.  Aaron is a smart boy, but really struggled to study.  My eldest (also in Grade 7) has very similar issues.  So, we got together and ran a 2-hour workshop for them teaching them the basics of drawing to make meaning.  Both boys loved it.

In preparation for the term 2 exam Aaron and Theresa created pictures (see photos below) of the study material.  It didn’t take a lot of time, and they managed to get through all the content in a weekend.  When the marks came out, the school called her in again… this time to find out how she managed to get Aaron to improve so much!

This really makes the point that learning through using a combination of pictures and words makes complete sense.

Here’s a couple of pointers to get you started:

  1. Have a combination of both words and pictures.  A picture is worth a thousand words, but it could mean any of those thousand words!  Add descriptions and details in text to make the meaning clear.
  2. Work large. Use A3 paper or bigger so that you can fit a lot in on a picture.  Our brains remember where on the page the content is, so working bigger is more efficient.
  3. Use colour to make meaning – e.g. use red for dates, green for impacts, blue for people’s names. You get the idea.
  4. Don’t be precious. Theresa said that the pictures they drew weren’t pretty, but it made sense to them. Research shows that it doesn’t matter what the pictures look like, just that they make sense to you.

[1] Name changed

[2] Name changed