Spatial intelligence in children - Help me Achieve Success in Life
By Andrew Loh
Most traditional schools and their teachers often fail to recognize the
great mental skills of spatial learners and this usually leads to lots
of frustration and anger in the mind of a child who is spatially
equipped. Hence, there is an urgent need for parents to train their
spatial children to learn and master the art of discovering their hidden
talents and skills. Traditional teaching methods are made of techniques
to train auditory and sequential learners. They involve disseminating
curriculum in a step by step manner where the concepts are introduced in
a monotonous and repetitive manner. Children are assessed under a
standard test conditions and results assessed in an academic manner by
assigning grades. However, for a spatial manner this approach may never
work just because they are not equipped to learn in this manner.
Usually, they learn by understanding that concepts are embedded within a
context and they are related to others in an invisible manner. They also
learn by creating a mental picture of overall concepts and in what
manner they fit the given assignment and task. They also process
information by comparing it with what they already know and understand.
To train spatial learners, parents may need to understand that
there are two important guidelines - if their children fail to
visualize, they are not thinking and learning, and they should be taught
according to their strengths and not weaknesses. The most important key
is to direct their learning experiences towards everything that is
thematic nature and to direct them to understand that it pays off to
learn once they experience success. Here are some time-tested and proven
methods to train and teach spatial children:
Children with spatial intelligence usually like the following:
Like to play with patterns, shapes and objects
Love painting and drawing
Prefer colors a lot than black and white
They also like to touch, feel and sense things
Love to hear fairy and thematic stories
Love to dismantle things and look what makes them
Test models to study how things work
Love to create their own objects by using hands and self generated ideas
Love to see different things and materials in museum
Most common activities that can keep spatial children interested in learning more:
Buy plenty of books that contain themes and pictures. Such books help
children maintain their concentration and focus.
Read stories and events by showing them the related pictures and themes. Asking them to
recite stories would help them learn alphabets and language skills.
Sight and tender sound are known to help such children a lot. Create
a surrounding where children feel home among bright colors and posters.
Spatial children also like patterns, shapes and objects to play
with. Additional materials of immense interest are clay, paper, sponge
balls and blocks that have bright colors.
Provide those patterns
and shapes that are easy to assemble so that they can learn the basic of
sequencing ideas in a proper manner. Sequential learning is very
important in a conventional classroom.
Ask them to paint or draw
something that tells a story or defines a theme. These stories and
themes could be from their classroom text books and projects. Let them
think and feel the subject matter and later explain them through
pictures and themes.
Introduce them to linguistic skills that
define a spatial world. Use important keywords that explain a sense of
space like “big”, “small”, “little”, “large”, “fat”, “thin”, “thick”,
“circle”, “round”, “oval”, “curved”, “straight”, “flat”, “rough” and
“smooth.” When children are exposed to important spatial world, they are
known to learn spatial skills a lot better.
Seize the benefit of daily opportunities to help children practice spatial thinking. One can
find spatial tasks and projects everywhere in nature including home. Ask
these simple yet very important questions to boost spatial thinking:
“Would these things go in one bag?”
“Can you fit that bed spread on your bed?”
“Where do shoelaces go on your shoes - under or over?”
“How big is that milk can? Is it bigger than the grocery bag?”
“Which is bigger - Sun or Moon?”
Ask them to predict results or
consequences. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of
spatial teaching. Here is an example. Take children to a stream in the
nature and instruct children to create a paper boat and let it sail in
the water. Now, ask children about the direction that the paper boat
will take as soon as they drop the boat on the water surface. This will
give them a chance to learn the sense of direction. Another example is
to predict the direction of travel a ball takes once it is dropped on to
Parents may like to use a number of self-made and
naturally available teaching opportunities to train children spatial
thinking skills. It is a step-by-step process that might take more time
and duration. However, it is worthwhile to spend some quality time to
expose children to the skills of spatial thinking.
Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner
By Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D
Do you know things without being able to explain how or why?
Do you solve problems in unusual ways? Do you think in
pictures rather than in words? If so, you are not alone.
One-third of the population thinks in images. You may be one
or you may live with one. If you teach, it is absolutely
certain that some of your students - probably the ones
you aren't reaching - are visual-spatial learners. Dr. Linda Silverman coined the term "visual-spatial learner"
in 1981 to describe the unique gifts of people who think in images.
They get the big picture because they see the world through artists' eyes. They remember what they see, but forget
what they hear. They're disorganized, can't spell and have no sense of time, but they have an infectious sense of
humor, wild imaginations and can lose themselves completely in the joy of the moment.