Nov 22, 2021

Why I Use Over 100 Images for Kids' Lessons



I was talking about curriculum the other day with another children's ministry leader.  The curriculum they are currently using only comes with 5-10 visual images. 
 
When I told him that my curriculum uses over 100 images per lesson, he seemed surprised.  
 
Keep this in mind - while most lessons use 100+ images per lesson, there are some that only use 60-75 images.  But compared to 5-6 images per lesson, that is still a ton of images. 
 
Why so many visual images?  There are several reasons.  Let's talk about a few of them.
 
Images are proven to help increase learning retention.   According to Dr. Haig Kouyoumdjian, Ph.D., “the effective use of visuals can decrease learning time, improve comprehension, enhance retrieval, and increase retention.  Long story short – visuals help kids hold onto the lessons you teach them." 
 
Images make it easier to follow along with a storyFor kids, understanding a page of text or a long-winded speech can be a difficult task without visuals to help them along. The use of images and illustrations in lessons adds context and makes it easier for kids to follow along and interpret the context of the lesson.
 
This statement is true with today's kids. 
A picture is worth a thousand words. 

Research proves that today's kids learn through taste (3%), smell (3%), touch (6%), hearing (13%) and sight (83%).  

Kids are visually wired.  50% of their brain is involved in visual processing.  70% of all of their sensory receptors are in their eyes.  

A child's comprehension is increased by 95% when using pictures with text.  Kids also follow directions 323% better with visual imagery, than just instructions with text.

How do kids learn best?  As we said, 83% learn by seeing.  

Why go through the strenuous process of trying explain what Goliath looked like, when you can quickly do so with pictures?  Why tell them what it looked like when God parted the Red Sea for Moses, when you can show them what it looked like?  
 
You may have read the title of this article and thought, "Over 100 slides?  That sounds like a lot of work."  Yes, it does take time to gather and put that many images in place.  But I believe it is worth it. 
 
What ever your situation is, use pictures as much as you can.  No computer or screen available during service time?  Then print out some pictures and gather as many objects as you can to use during your lesson.  
 
Here's an example.  You are teaching the kids about Jonah and the big fish.  You have two options.  You can tell them about John being in the belly of the fish or you can show them this while talking about it. 



Which option will they remember better?   The one with the picture. 

Let me ask you a question.  How many visual images are you currently using in your lessons?  Just a few?  10ish? 

I want to challenge you to take it to the next level.  Start using a lot more images.  Will it take time to put this together?  Yes. Will it be worth it?  Yes.  Will kids get more out of your lessons and remember them better?  Yes.  Will it help you capture kids' attention better?  Absolutely.
 
If you want a curriculum that uses a lot of visual imagery to capture kids' attention, then check out my Connect12 curriculum.  You'll find tons of visuals in each lesson and you will be able to hold kids' attention much better.  You can get more info. and see samples at this link.  

Am I promoting just using videos or images alone?  No.  I'm not a fan of doing an entire lesson by video.  I believe kids need a connection with a live teacher.  But what I am suggesting is combining the two.  Use a live teacher who uses a lot of visual imagery to keep kids' attention and help them remember the lesson he or she taught them. 
 
Your turn.  How much do you use visual imagery in your lessons?  What have you found is effective in getting kids to engage with your lesson?  Share your thoughts and insights in the comment section below.

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