Bodily Kinesthetic Learning Style - Teaching Physically Active Learners
By Andrew Loh
If the physical style is more like your children, then it is almost certain
that they will use their body and a feeling for touch, to learn and
comprehend about the world around them. In all probabilities, your
children would like to indulge in field sports, exercises and other
related activities like woodworking, gardening, building and
photography. It is also certain that they will learn as they work and
exercise. Their main source of learning is through taking part in bodily
Just watch them for their inclination towards
everything that is material and physical. In fact, they are more
sensitive to the nature around them. They respond very quickly to the
events that occur around them. For example, let us say that a child is
doing her homework. Let us also think that she has a pet dog in her
house. If she hears the barking of that dog, she might just get up from her
desk and run away towards the barking dog to console it. Adults in the
house may think that she is distracted by the barking sound of the dog
and they may even scold her for her concern towards the dog. However,
the child is doing what is right for her in that moment. It is her
typical way of learning. In fact, that incident acts as a catalyst for
finishing her homework.
The learning style adopted by a bodily
kinesthetic child is dynamic, instantaneous and immediate and it is
through some kind of bodily actions. They may notice and like textures
and patterns of things and objects. They may like creating clay models,
build sand castles or work in the backyard garden. Such children usually
use hand gestures and lip language to communicate with others. When
bodily kinesthetic children learn a new skill, they prefer to get into an
instant action and start working almost immediately. Unfortunately, such
children may not like to sit idle in a classroom for a long time and listen to lessons.
The basic bodily kinesthetic learning style displays many common pursuits and
activities. Such activities will include physical work, repair work,
mechanical engineering, construction activities, sports, gymnastics,
dancing, writing, athletics and cycling. Children, who learn this way,
may use the following kind of phrases:
Running feels so right to me
I want to stay in touch with my house play kit
I want to get in touch with that engineer
My gut is telling me that this time I will win that running race.
Learning techniques and styles for a bodily kinesthetic learning child
If you find that your child belongs with this category, then you will need to train for learning by
using the sense of touch, action, movement and hands-on activities.
Remember that your child is not a passive learner but an active one. He
or she likes to be in the center of action all the time. Their main
learning styles are:
Manipulating objects and things
Perform physical experiments and tasks
Learn by acquiring skills by repetition
Bodily kinesthetic children are also tactile learners.
They always try to combine tactile learning and kinesthetic learning to
merge the best of both. Both of these styles involve bodily movements
although tactile learning veers towards moderate activities. Tactile
learning involves a fine sense of touch and motor movements, whereas
kinesthetic learning style involves very pronounced whole-body movements
with a rigid style. However, it is possible to improve and enhance
kinesthetic learning style by integrating it with the tactile style.
Both parents and teachers may need to introduce a hands-on learning
system to teach kinesthetic children. Primary school children should get
an opportunity to learn by manipulating. This could include using
materials like finger paints, art materials, building and repair
projects, clay molding, blocks or patterns, practical science
experiments, exercises, sports, athletics, cycling and gymnastics. In
other words, these children are activity or model based learners.
Because kinesthetic children are not like other children, teachers and
parents should introduce individualized teaching system to help
Here are some simple tips and suggestion to teach kinesthetic children:
Find a learning center:
You may need to choose a school that treats the classroom as dedicated learning
centers. Such an ambiance will give your children an opportunity to
learn their lessons through action and repetition.
Project and activity based areas: The schools that you choose
should have areas for using play and working tools like building blocks,
model clays and 3D science models. Parents may need to buy these things
and introduce them to children at home, so that they can orient their
learning style towards action and performance.
Provide life-like experience: Choose a school that provides an
opportunity to learn lessons through life-like experiences. Field trips,
tours and picnics are the best activities for kinesthetic children.
Schools that provide scouts and guides programs work best for such
Sport and athletic programs: Choose a
school that promotes sports, field activities, gymnastic and soccer.
These schools act as an excellent gateway for your children to rebuild
their energy levels.
Dance and music classes:
Choose a school that provides drilling exercises, marching band
participation, dance classes and operatic lessons. Music and movement
could be a great combination.
You can design your own personal learning environment to train kinesthetic children. However, ensure
that you deploy one or more styles to get the best results. Also, make sure that
the learning styles that you use should be natural and genuine.
Every Body Can Learn: Engaging the Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence in the Everyday Classroom
By Marilyn Nikimaa Patterson
True to one of the basic tenets of writing, the book shows rather than tells...The author
consistently conveys ideas through metaphor, symbolism and simile, without extraneous words
or overly elaborate imagery. This makes for a fun and engaging read.
In addition to the treasury of classroom activities, lesson plans, and assessment tools,
this book contains valuable essays on how and why to integrate this intelligence in the classroom.