Here are a couple wonderful examples of ways to help learners grasp ideas and information through imagery and visual thinking.
A great TED presentation titled "Picturing Excess" by the artist Chris Jordan. He uses art to help audiences grasp the magnitude of big statistics and numbers. A great example of using images to enhance meaning making and affective learning.
Here is a powerful infographics tool from the New York Times for analyzing and contextualizing pieces of writing.
This example highlights the language of past US presidential inaugural addresses. The most-used words in each address were sized by number of uses. In addition, words highlighted in yellow were used significantly more in this inaugural address than average.
I find these fascinating and very effective. If you know of other great examples, or commentary on when the use of visual thinking would be most appropriate (or inappropriate) please chime in!