Are you looking for more information on what your learning style is? Are you concerned that your child is a kinesthetic learner, and you do not know what that means? You are in the right place if you can answer yes to either of these questions.
We will help you understand what it means to have a kinesthetic learning style and several activities you can use to help further your learning. We will also help you to identify the strengths of kinesthetic learners. To gain this information and more, all you have to do is keep reading.
What is Kinesthetic Learning Style?
Kinesthetic learning is one of the 4 VARK learning styles based on the work of Neil Fleming. This model includes the following styles, though the focus of this article is the Kinesthetic style:
- Visual Learning
- Auditory Learning
A Kinesthetic learning style is characterized by movement or hands-on learning. Kinesthetic learners generally need to perform physical activity to retain information better. Watching someone else perform a task or reading about a task will not be as beneficial for them when attempting to learn something new. An individual with a Kinesthetic learning style can be categorized as a multi-sensory learner.
This may be a hard learning style to have. For some, recalling information will also need to involve movement, which is not always possible in a more rigid educational setting. Students with this learning style may need movement to focus. This may even include small movements like chewing gum, tapping their pencil or fidgeting.
Think of the students with a kinesthetic learning style as the doers in a group project. Gathering or hearing the information does not appeal to them the same as creating visuals. These individuals like to make concept maps or charts, build models and do things that involve physical touch. In the coming sections, we will help you identify these individuals’ common strengths and even memorization techniques for kinesthetic learners.
Learning Strengths of Kinesthetic Learners
Like any learning style, there are several strengths and weaknesses to being a Kinesthetic learner. Some strengths include the following:
- Great at physical activity – This may include things like running, dancing, etc. Generally, sporting activities will come easy for them.
- Great at project work – The kinesthetic learning style is greatly shown through project work, where students can do things like create models, perform skits, and do various hands-on activities.
- Have quick reaction times – These students will also have excellent hand-eye coordination, which increases their reaction time.
- Memory through movement – These learners will learn quickly if they are in motion or performing a physical task in tandem with learning.
- Enhanced social skills and better overall social life – Many kinesthetic learners’ skills lend them to being great at sports or physical activity, often categorized as team sports. In addition, these learners fare better in group environments: role-play, study groups, etc. This aids in further enhancing their social skills.
Helping Kinesthetic Students Learn
Teachers can incorporate several teaching strategies for kinesthetic learners into their classrooms to ensure students get the help they need. The list below contains only a few suggestions to help learners progress.
- Create shorter lesson segments and allow time for quick breaks
- Implement movement in the classroom – Some teachers implement things like a question/talking ball. The ball is tossed around the class to allow individuals to speak. When the ball lands in a student’s hands, they have the floor to ask a question or comment. Once they are done, they can toss it off to someone else.
- Rather than simply reading about a concept, please find a way to demonstrate it within the classroom and make it interactive.
7 Effective Study Tips and Strategies for Kinesthetic Learners
You can do several things as a Kinesthetic learner to help you retain information. The tips below can be effective study tips or teaching strategies for kinesthetic learners.
Role play aids students in grasping information because it allows them to act out different scenes and concepts. Historical events are great candidates for role-play.
Concept mapping is an excellent skill that allows students to connect ideas and summarize things they have learned. Though this may not seem highly physical, the act of drawing out the maps and connections will help students to remember the information better. Simply talking about the ideas is not as beneficial as drawing or even creating a mind map digitally.
Move While Studying
This may be harder to implement within the classroom, but this is a great kinesthetic learning tip for teachers. Giving students the ability to pace or fidget allows them the freedom to focus. Usually, kinesthetic learners have a hard time sitting still, and they are focusing on the act of stillness rather than their work at hand. Moving while studying may include pacing, tapping, or squeezing a stress ball. These tasks will likely help kinesthetic learners retain more information.
Make Your Notes Interactive
Note-taking is often not seen as an interactive process but rather redundant and mundane. However, drawing in the margins, using colour coordination, and even adding sticky notes can help students do more than regurgitate information. The act of additional writing or notation helps the material to better stick in a student’s mind.
Create a Study Schedule
Creating a study schedule doesn’t have to be mundane or boring. Instead, your schedule should reflect the ways in which you learn best. It may be beneficial for kinesthetic learners if your study schedule and even study methods allow for exercise and movement.
For example, you can study for timed blocks. Between each block, make it a point to get in some exercise or movement so that you don’t become easily fatigued. It may even be great to jog and integrate some movement into your study sessions, running with flash cards.
Get a Standing Desk
Limiting the amount of time you spend sitting can be excellent for your focus. A standing desk gives you the flexibility to sit and stand as needed. It also gives you the ability to do things like march in place or even use a walk pad while completing work, which in turn should improve your focus.
Utilize Case Studies
Case studies are a great way of demonstrating real-world concepts. They provide the learner with examples of a specific scenario and how to walk through it. These may be great for process-related learning.
These study tips are only a small subset of activities you can do to retain information and learn new concepts. This will be easier to do as you learn more about your learning style.
Why is Hands-On Learning Important for Kinesthetic Learners?
Hands-on learning is extremely important for individuals with a kinesthetic learning style because they are generally high energy. Sitting still often requires them to focus on not being “disruptive” and takes away from them doing any real learning. By incorporating physical activity, you allow them to connect with the material they intend to learn. This will also help them to recall the information better later. Though this is a hard learning style to teach sometimes, a little effort in the classroom may go a long way for the student.
Wrapping Things Up: Effective Study Tips for Kinesthetic Learners
A kinesthetic learner is someone who learns by movement. It is easier for them to retain information if they are moving their body in some form. Kinesthetic learners often have difficulty sitting still and use a lot of their energy to refrain from being traditionally “disruptive”.
Teachers may incorporate several kinesthetic learning activities in their classrooms, and students may incorporate them into their study methods to ensure that they are successful. A standing desk is a great tool for learners of all ages to get them out of their seats while working. Another thing they can do is create mind maps. These may help them understand concepts through the act of drawing.
Regardless of what you choose to do, we hope these activities help you to make learning easier.