Canoga Park Teacher Focuses on the Visual


Canoga Park Elementary School teacher Mark Trueblood believes that children learn best through visual experiences, so he offers an image-packed curriculum to his fourth- and fifth-grade students.

His creative teaching method has not only stirred interest in the arts and sciences among his pupils, but also earned him a nomination for this year’s BRAVO award.

BRAVO honors two teachers “who demonstrate innovation and creativity in making the arts an integral part of the curriculum,” according to the education office of the Music Center, which sponsors the awards program.


Trueblood, who is among 90 nominees from throughout Southern California, said he illustrates all his subjects with objects, such as a huge log cabin in the back of the classroom or costumes out of paper.

“We do a lot of visualizing,” he said. “Children have a bank of reference material in their minds.” Trueblood said strong visual images are more effective and more likely to be retained by children.

Trueblood’s curriculum also includes drawing, to teach perspective and architecture. Starting in January, his class will take a field trip to sketch some of the San Fernando Valley’s older buildings.