VISUAL SYMBOLSVisual symbols are representations of direct reality, which comes in the form of signs and symbols.The following is a detailed discussion on the different kinds of visual symbols, which are drawings,sketches, cartoons, comics or strip drawing, diagrams, charts and graphs, maps, and posters.Rules of Thumbs in Using Visuals1. Visuals must be directly relevant to the audio content.2. Redundancy between visuals and audio must be avoided. If words are displayed, viewers must begiven time to read it.3. Visual displays should be big enough to be seen by the farthest pupil.4. Visual displays must be attractive.5. Visual displays must be aesthetically presented to maintain good taste.Kinds of Visual Symbols1. CartoonsCartoons tell stories metaphorically through pictures, which need no captions. Symbolism conveysmessages, less words more symbolism the better. The cartoon presents a certain issue or concernwhich could be either for or against it.It is a pictorial representation or caricature of a person, idea, situation or issue that is designed toinfluence public opinion. Therefore cartoons must be presented in a challenging manner. For betterunderstanding they should be drawn around a single idea.Suggestion for the use of cartoonsa. Appropriateness to experience level. The age and the experience or maturity of the target learnersmust be taken into consideration.b. Simplicity – contains only the essential features. The cartoon must not contain so many details.c. Brevity of captions if ever but they may not be given any. Short and direct captions are used whennecessary only.d. Use of clear symbols. Use symbols that are conventional, like; the dove to mean death; the turtle tomean slow or sluggishness and others.e. Adequateness of size. The cartoon should be big enough to be seen and appreciated.Cartoons could be used for motivation, for follow-up activity and for evaluation purposes.2. PostersA poster is combination of bold designs and color primarily intended to catch attention on a significantfact, idea or message. Simply stated, a poster is a picture with appropriate caption.
Characteristics of a good poster1. It must be bold and simple but dramatizes features.2. It must be appropriate to the grade level and to the subject and purpose and purposes.3. It must have only limited text, few words are generally used and key words are made to standout bymeans of type size or position.4. It must be attractive, pleasing to the eyes.5. Design and color must be given consideration.Composition, color and technique are principal elements in effective poster preparation. It requires acenter of interest. Color provides meaning and expression as well as beauty.6. It must have elements of dynamism and shock.Posters are best used for motivation and for creative experience as depicting ideas, concepts andgeneralizations to summarize a celebration or a unit.3. Drawings and SketchesThese are crude and simple lines, which are effective in showing what needs to be shown withsufficient clarity, to make the meaning vivid to learners or students.They are drawings with no illusion of depth but a smart teacher can use them in a very effective wayin explaining and showing ideas and concepts.4.DiagramsDiagrams are simplified drawings designed to show interrelationship primarily by means of lines andsymbols. They are used to explain rather than to represent. It is a drawing that shows arrangementand relationship, as parts to a whole, relative values, origins and developments, chronological flow,fluctuations and distributions.The diagram is used to condense visual summaries of facts; the ideas rely heavily on symbolicmeans. However it must be remembered that it is more effective if it has a strong foundation becauseit works better for summarizing rather then introducing a lesson. It can be used singly but it is better ifit is used simultaneously with other materials.5. ChartsCharts are graphic or pictorial representations of a large mass of information or show progression thrutime and space of people or events, ideas and objects.Kinds of charts and examples1. Data chart – contains items of information pf all sorts especially quantitative data.
2. Pictorial chart – use relevant pictures to present data or information on quantifiable data over aspecific period or condition.3. Schematic chart – shows a principle or a law as applied like that of refrigeration4. Diagrammatic chart – verb chart is popular example5. Multiple leaf chart – internal working parts of a machine6. Phantom view chart – shows hidden parts of a machine without obliterating the outer parts7. Development or progress chart – profile of a place or a person8. Table chart – bus trips9. Time and tabular chart – presidents and their term of office10. Stream or tree chart – family tree11. Flow or organizational chart – school personnel chart, life cycle of a frog or the water cycle.6. GraphsGraphs present quantitative data for easier analysis and interpretation. It shows comparativerelationship of data involved in size, trends and growth. Graphs are best used in developing and insummarizing a unit.Kinds of graphs1. Line graph – is the most accurate of all graphs used in plotting trends of relationships between twoseries of data. It is used when there is a considerable number of data to be plotted and if these dataare continuous2. Bar graphs – simplest of all graphs to read. They are represented either by vertical or horizontalbars. The lengths of the bars represent an amount or percentage data. It is best when number ofvalues to be compared is small.3. Circle or pie graph – the sections of which are used to represent component parts of a whole. Theyalways present total amounts, their parts or segments are calculated in percentage or fractional partsof a whole.4. Area or Solid graphs – use for the simplest quantitative comparison thru the use of geometricshapes. It is used to compare two or three related totals.5. Pictorial Statistics or pictograph – it makes use of related pictures in showing quantitative data.Pictures give realism and interest so it is widely used specially in the elementary grades.Principles of Pictographing1. Simplicity – picture used must be simple2. Comparison of relationship must be strikingly seen3. Approximates rather than precise amounts are represented
4. Pictorial symbols used must be self explanatory rather than by the size.7. Strip Drawing or Comic StripStrip drawings are recommended for their story value in adaptation of the classics. They are affectivein instruction not only because they are simple, clear and easy to read but because they deal withmaterials that has been made personal.Comics is a form of cartooning in which the same cast of characters form a story in sequence ofclosely related drawings, designed to entertain the readers. They are usually enjoyed by elementarypupils as well as secondary students because of their simplicity, attractiveness, color and relevantplot. The uses of super heroes or fantasy themes add interest to the learners. Thus the use of thecomic strip in facilitating instruction must be used to the maximum.Values derived from the strip drawings1. Increases interest in the subject2. Individualizes and personalizes instruction for certain types of pupils3. Serves as a valuable practice in reading4. Widens reading interestReasons for using comics strip1. It is easy to read so it encourages reading2. It builds vocabulary3. It satisfies the collectors’ interest in acquiring copies4. It provides excitement5. It is inexpensive6. It satisfies the children’s idea of art8. MapsMaps are usually shown on flat surface and are used to represent the surface of the earth or someparts of it, showing the relative size and position according to scale or projection and positionrepresented.Maps according to contenta. Physical map – also called relief maps, they are the best because of their three dimensionalrepresentation; which includes geographical outline of land and water. Commercial or economicmaps- also known as product or industrial map since they show land area in relation to the economy.b. Political map – shows national boundaries down to the smallest divisionMaps according to forma. Chalkboard outline mapb. Student outline mapsc. Projected mapsd. Wall maps (decorative maps)e. Atlas – collection of maps
f. Sand table mapg. Pictorial mapsStandards in judging maps1. Visibility – details are clearly seen and read2. Detail – less detailed maps are better3. Scale – marks are clear, dependable and easily interpreted4. Symbols – not too many to be remembered5. Color – should be used as an aid to reading it6. Accuracy – in terms of its specific purposes7. Grade level relevance8. Print – is legible or readable9. Durability – can stand several usePurposes for which maps are being used1. To enable students to understand both relative and exact position of political units, land massesand political area.2. To furnish information concerning areas, distances, directions, shapes, size and relationships3. To provide orientation and means of visualizing large and remote areas4. To clarify materials5. To provide visual basis or comparison and contrast6. To provide means of regional synthesis7. To provide interest and stimulation to learn more about people, geographical influences and places8. To enable students to trace movements, migration and distribution of people, vegetation, animal lifeand culture9. To serve as one method of study for recording purposes10. To provide an ‘object test’ means for certain types of measurements11. To furnish means of self-expression in unit and project study.Points to remember in utilizing maps for teaching1. Make sure that the pupils or students comprehend the purpose of the map2. Promote or develop positive emotional attitude3. Allow ample time for pupils’ first look4. Make sure they understand map symbolism