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Teaching and Learning: Imagery

Essentially, there are five types of imagery, each linked to one of our senses:

Visual – sight
Auditory – sound
Kinesthetic – touch
Olfactory – smell
Gustatory – taste

The key to good imagery is engaging all five senses.

The featured photo shows an example of a multi layered IMAGERY lesson, here at St Peter’s Preparatory School.  These are Year 6 pupils in a Humanities lesson about ‘The Age of Exploration’. The children had to smell, touch, taste and observe a range of world spices. They had to plot the spices’ origins on a world map, then track the routes that great historical explorers took. They then had to spot patterns on the very same world map.
They had to reason.
Find evidence.
Research historical facts.
Then, they had to decide on the chronological order of events.  In other words,  they had to apply high order thinking skills using a range of imagery to support their statements.

(As an aside, and as an additional challenge, the children were challenged to learn how the spices were made.  For example, were they made from a seed? Plant? Tree? Bush? Leaf? Flower? Petal? Bark? Root? Bulb? Fruit? Ask them to find out more. They are now experts!)

If you would like some powerful visual imagery materials, which can be used as conversation starters and discussion points with your child at home, then please do check out the following link.

Images to Inspire

This tool was brought to my attention by Mrs Lucy Davies, one of our creative and talented Year 1 teachers. It is clever and beautiful.  The blog writer, Sam, states:

‘Since I started teaching, I have observed and preached the benefits of using pictures in the classroom. They are immediate; they stimulate the imagination and promote creativity. Children who often ‘sit back’ are able and willing to contribute. They learn that their opinions matter.’

Do bear imagery in mind when supporting your child with homework.  It can often be the key that unlocks understanding. Remember,  imagery can be:

Visual – sight
Auditory – sound
Kinesthetic – touch
Olfactory – smell
Gustatory – taste

Talk with your child’s tutor for more imagery ideas that you can use for different subjects.

Looking through the latest edition of the school’s Celebration Newsletter, I can see that the St Peter’s Preparatory School staff are experts at providing exactly the right imagery for exactly the right moment.

Mrs Lucy Ball

Deputy Head