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teaching aid

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noun

material used by a teacher to supplement classroom instruction or to stimulate the interest of students.

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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What is a teaching aid?

A teaching aid is anything used by a teacher to help teach a lesson or make it more interesting to students.

Teaching aids can come in almost any form. Some of the most common are pictures, videos, charts, flashcards, and objects, like three-dimensional models or educational toys. The term teaching aid is used to identify such materials as being a supplement to basic teaching (for example, teaching through a lecture).

Teaching aids are intended to engage students in the topic being taught. Although teaching aids are sometimes more associated with elementary schooling, they can be used at every level of education and for every subject.

Teaching aid should not be confused with a teacher’s aide, who assists a teacher in the classroom.

How do teaching aids work in education?

Did you know that when teachers show their class a video, that’s a teaching aid? (Well, unless it’s a movie unrelated to the lesson. Then it’s just a lazy Friday.) No matter how good a teacher is at explaining something in words, it always helps to have something extra to drive the point home or make it come alive for the students. This is the point of teaching aids.

Books can sometimes be considered teaching aids, especially books that are presented in addition to the textbook. But teaching aids are usually meant to be more exciting and engaging. For this reason, teaching aids often appeal to the senses. They can be visual (like charts or pictures), audio-based (like songs), or things that appeal to the sense of touch (like models meant to be held and explored with the hands). If you’re lucky, your teacher might even bring in some food for you to taste, like when you’re learning about different cultures. (Yes, teaching aids can be edible.)

Some teaching aids are classic classroom fixtures, such as globes, maps, and the periodic table. But technology has opened up a whole new world of learning. Devices like tablets and laptops offer limitless opportunities for teaching aids to be brought to the classroom. Yet teaching aids don’t have to be high-tech to be effective—good old flashcards can be a great way to get students to understand a concept. Teaching aids can also take the form of activities, such as a craft project that the students participate in. Interactivity is often a key part of teaching aids.

Basically, anything that enhances the learning experience—anything other than the teacher talking to students—is a teaching aid. Teaching aids are extremely important to instruction because they help students learn things in ways that go beyond a lecture or the text in a book.

Did you know ... ?

One common example of a teaching aid is an abacus, which is a device that uses beads to help children learn how to count. The abacus has been used in varying forms for thousands of years!

What are some real-life examples of teaching aid?

Teaching aids come in many different forms. Some are meant to be hands-on, while others appeal to different senses.

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What other words are related to teaching aid?

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True or false?

Only physical objects can be teaching aids.

How to use teaching aid in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for teaching aid

teaching aid

noun

any device, object, or machine used by a teacher to clarify or enliven a subject
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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