Welcome to post #5 in the Engaging Kids in the Classroom through Learning Styles series. Today, we’ll be discussing the Kinesthetic learner.
The Kinesthetic learner loves to touch and feel the things she is learning about. Also called a tactile learner, this type of student loves moving and using her hands as she learns in the classroom. Any activity that involves whole body movement is ideal, but even small movements will help to keep this type of learner involved. Here’s a few ideas for you to try.
In Your Weekly Routine
Do you take the time to review rules and expectations each week? If so, why not record a student giving the run-down and play this segment at the beginning of class periodically. You could even have them act out “appropriate” and “inappropriate” behaviors in the classroom. Just beware of copy-cat “inappropriate” behavior!
The Kinesthetic learner loves to play games, especially ones that involve moving around. Try incorporating a quick movement game in the first five minutes of class to get this student revved up for learning. Stacking cups and other table games are a great option if you don’t have a lot of space to move around.
Variety of Writing Tools: Even a simple change in writing utensils can draw a student back into learning.
Pass the Baton: Provide a baton or a soft toy; whoever has it must answer your question and then pass it on to the student of their choice
True and False Wall: Tape a “true” sign to a classroom wall and a “false” sign on the opposite classroom wall. After teaching the lesson, ask students true and false question and have them touch the appropriate wall to answer.
Total Physical Response: Students either stand or sit to indicate their answers (true/false or yes/no).
Question and Answer Cards: Make index cards for every student in the class; half with questions about class content and half with the correct answers. Shuffle the cards and have students find their appropriate partner by comparing their cards. If you have non-readers in your class, display answers as pictures and distribute those to the younger crowd.
Put it on the Board: A few weeks ago we were learning about three different kings in Israel. At the end of the lesson, I had a stack of small strips of paper, each with a fact from the lesson. I held up each fact one by one, and kids volunteered to tape the strip under the appropriate heading (one heading for each king). This allowed kids to get up and move while keeping things controlled and focused on the lesson.
Station Rotation: Most kids are familiar with the concept of “stations” set up around the room based on their experience with school. Why not bring some stations into the class for a week or two to really up the excitement about a lesson? Put kids in groups of three or four and assign them a station to begin. Every 5 minutes, ring a bell and have kids rotate to the next station. Station ideas include drawing a picture of the story, acting out the Bible story with props and costumes, recording a newscast about the Bible story, eating a related snack, praying about personal application of the lesson, just to name a few!
With Classroom Decorations and Displays
Good Listener Poster:
Listening sometimes involves the whole body including hands, eyes, ears and mouth. Check out a great poster at Erica’s Resources Blog that displays clearly what a good listener looks like:
Fidget Tools: At times, teachers will provide students with “Fidget Toys” to hold during the formal lesson time. While not exactly a classroom decoration, it does serve as a passive way to hold a kinesthetic learner’s attention. Fidget tools could be squeeze balls, coiled key chains, bean bags.
That’s it for now! Tune in again in a few days for more ways to keep kids engaged in the classroom.