How Visuals Improve ADHD Student Learning Outcomes

Sep 4, 2022

There’s a reason why so many students with ADHD struggle in school. It’s not because they can’t learn, it’s because they can’t focus. The constant shift in focus from one thing to another can be challenging for students with ADHD, who often struggle mightily when trying to connect ideas or concepts. However, integrating visuals into your curriculum is a great tool to help with focus.

More opportunities to interact with lesson material can help ADHD students focus and make connections more quickly. Therefore, they can learn and retain more information. This is where differentiation and the use of lesson visuals can help.

Differentiation is a teaching method that involves adapting how you teach to meet the needs of each student. So, to meet the needs of a student with ADHD, you might differentiate by using more visuals and kinesthetic activities in your lessons. This would help the student to focus and make connections between subjects.

5 Ideas for Lesson Visuals You Can Use Today


  1. Coloring pages for Geography
  2. Science in Pictures
  3. History Timelines
  4. Connecting Dots to Understand Math
  5. Comics in the Classroom

For this article, we will focus on the integration of coloring pages, but all of the ideas listed above can be used to help students with ADHD channel their focus in class.

Coloring Pages to Bring a Lesson to Life

Just like any good author knows adding pictures to a story can bring it to life, the same is true for teachers. When explaining a concept and students have trouble understanding, adding a coloring page can help. The act of coloring can also be therapeutic for students with ADHD, as it allows them to focus their energy on one thing and to be creative.

There are coloring pages available for nearly any lesson you can think of. A quick Google search will reveal math, science, English, and history pages. Even coloring pages are available for more difficult concepts like fractions and the solar system.

Coloring pages can be used in any subject to help students make connections and learn new information. For example, in math, you can use coloring pages to help students visualize fractions. In language arts, you can use coloring pages to help students visualize vocabulary words. In science, you can use coloring pages to help students visualize the water cycle. And in history, you can use coloring pages to help students visualize different empires.

The bottom line is that visuals can be extremely helpful for students with ADHD as they help to provide a structure for their thoughts. Students who see the connections between subjects or concepts are likelier to engage with and understand the material. So, if you have a student with ADHD in your class at any grade level, consider using visuals to help them connect and engage with the material. You might be surprised at how well they do!

Teacher Tip: Visuals can be extremely helpful for students with ADHD, but it’s also important to remember that each student is different. Some students might need more visuals, while others might need less. The key is to find a balance that works for your student.

Using coloring pages is a great way to engage hard-to-reach students. It’s a low-prep way to differentiate your instruction. And it’s a fun way for students to learn!

Do you use coloring pages in your lesson? What are some of your favorite ways to engage hard-to-reach students? Share in the comments below!

Bran Hicks 

Guest Author



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