There are four basic styles of learners. They are visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic. Each style of learner needs different strategies in order to learn effectively. Writing a lesson plan for all learner types takes a bit of time and practice. By teaching to all four styles, students will learn better as every style is being taught. There are some lessons that can’t be written in four learning styles.
These students need to see what they are learning.When teaching this style of student, remember they do well with graphs, charts, maps, and pictures. They often think visually. Graphic organizers work wonderfully with these students. They are more apt to remember information that was written on a spider map or Venn diagram than information written in sequence or note format. Visual learners do great with colored markers, and colored post it notes. The colors will help them to remember. Reading is boring to these students. Of course there is no way around reading. But one example of how to handle reading and a visual leaner, is to let them illustrate their book report. They think pictures, and can put the report down in visual format.
An auditory learner loves lectures. They will be the students in the front of the class listening attentively to the discussion. These students do well in group discussions and learning situations. Your student who learns this way, may not write down notes. They will tell you they remember what they hear, and they do. Be sure to give clear oral instructions to an auditory learner. It helps to allow them to record the lecture. They will want to listen to it later as a review for quizzes or tests. When asking for someone to read aloud, these students will do a great job. They learn better when they hear themselves reading. Some teachers allow these students to go to the back of the room or a quieter area and read quietly to themselves.
A tactile learner needs to do and touch what he is learning. These students do well with flashcard learning, as they have something to hold. Any manipulative helps them to learn. These can be blocks, counting beads, finger paints, or puzzles. In science, models that they can manipulate will help them learn. For example, when learning the planets, a planet model would be great. make sure it is one you don’t mind the tactile learner touching. Dioramas or show box projects, work great with a tactile learner.
These learners need to move. They are the students who can not sit still in the classroom. A teacher can help these students learn more effectively by changing a few things in the classroom. There are new standing desks, available for purchase, and allowing a kinesthetic learner to stand at a desk will keep him moving, which he needs to learn properly. These students will be able to concentrate better if allowed to move when they read. Physical review games and classroom games will help this learner. For example, I use top play Last Man Standing. I had all my students stand up at their desk. I asked test review questions to each one in order. When they missed, they had to sit down. Thus the name of the game: Last Man Standing. My kinesthetic learners were usually the last one remaining.
By knowing what style learner you have, and altering your lesson plans to take learning style into account, all students will be taught effectively. It does take longer to teach to all styles, but in the long run it is worth it. Your students will learn better, test better, and have more self confidence.