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The Kinesthetic Learner

Ways to Spot One – A child who Wants to:


  • move all the time

  • touch and feel everything, rubs hands on walls, hallways, door frames as he moves

  • thumps buddies

  • can take an item apart and put it back together

  • enjoys doing things with his hands

  • is well co-ordinated, good at sports (except eye-hand co-ordination if visual modality strength is lacking)

  • frequently uses fists

  • may make paper airplanes

  • needs to use concrete objects as learning aids

  • cannot rote count or sequence material without aids

  • has difficulty establishing one-to-one relationships in number values

  • after age 6.5 is generally classed as an underachiever

  • often described as a child who can’t keep his hands to himself

  • needs to explore his environment more than average for this age

  • is often considered hyperactive

    Adjustments – What can be done

  • provide quiet down period after physical activities

  • alternate quiet periods and rest periods

  • task reward may work well

  • avoid putting him too close to other children

  • provide cues for end of study time – timer or clock

  • encourage visits for drinks/bathroom before class

  • make it harder to move than to sit still – e.g. desk against wall

  • is often unaware of own movement and distracted by that of others

  • may be on medication for hyperactivity – find out

  • use picture to help establish associations – words/numbers/meanings

  • attach verbal labels

  • use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic methods for teaching writing

  • allow for planned times for movement, such as monitor jobs 

    Teaching methods – How to plan

  • use movement exploration – adding/subtracting/prepositional concepts can be taught on monkey bars

  • have children clap or tap out numbers, syllables, walk patterns of words

  • use number lines on the floor – child can use heavy objects along the line for more physical feedback

  • use sandpaper letters/felt letters, writing in sand/clay, 3-D materials [or the screenboard -MWB]

  • child may need to talk to self for motor feedback

  • use all manipulatives possible

  • do lots of things with eyes shut using 3-D letters

  • use lots of writing – may need to introduce with stencils

  • supply concrete objects for counting sequencing, establishing patterns seeing similarities and differences


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