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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 activities.

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 them learn.

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 children.

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.

Featured Resource

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.

 

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