So far, I’ve written about the visual and auditory learner in your Bible class, but what about the third type learner? This is the child that learns through hands-on or in a kinesthetic way. Most school age children excel through kinesthetic means: touching, feeling, experiencing the material at hand. “Children enter kindergarten as kinesthetic and tactual learners, moving and touching everything as they learn. By second or third grade, some students have become visual learners. During the late elementary years some students, primarily females, become auditory learners. Yet, many adults, especially males, maintain kinesthetic and tactual strengths throughout their lives.”(Teaching Secondary Students Through Their Individual Learning Styles, Rita Stafford and Kenneth J. Dunn; Allyn and Bacon, 1993).
Kinesthetic learners are most successful when totally engaged with the learning activity. In the Bible class setting, children will learn the information best when they are participating in the learning through any type of hands-on activity, drama, manipulatives, or movement.
So what kind of strategies can I implement to help the kinesthetic learner in bible class?
- When singing, use movement or hand actions with your songs.
- If teaching a story with a flannel board, let a child come up to the flannel board to place the flannel pieces during the story.
- Let the children move from place to place within the room for various activities. This might include sitting on carpet squares for the story time, then moving to the table for a craft or worksheet activity, then back up for a game, then standing to sing songs.
- Create opportunities where the students will experience the story. For example, when telling the parable of the sower, let the children plant seeds in different kinds of soil and get their hands dirty. If you are telling the story of Peter out fishing, bring in a small boat and re-create the scene with the child engaged in the story. Throw some laminated cardstock fish out in the “water” that has a paper clip attached and let the child fish with a pole that has a magnet attached.
Possibilities are endless. Is it more work than reading a story from packaged curriculum and doing a worksheet? Yes it is, but is it incredibly fun and memorable for your students? YES it is!!!
Check out the section of Bible Lessons on this site to find more ideas of how a lesson can be created for this learning style!
You can read more about kinesthetic learners at www. school.familyeducation.com/intelligence/teaching-methods/38519.html.