Does Your Lesson Cross Learning Style Borders?

Susan Greenwood's picture


          With the full gambit of acronyms (ADD, ADHD, ODD, OCD) and attitudes filling the room, it can be difficult to keep every student's attention. But what if some of the disruptiveness is simply an issue of learning style? For instance, the child that won't stop talking or even reiterates everything said could be a verbal learner-meaning they learn best by repeating or verbalizing the information. 

          There are several different learning styles and most people are a combination of all of them; however, there is one that is more dominant than the others. There are a variety of ways you can incorporate learning styles into your lesson.

  • Visual (spatial): Learns best using pictures, images, live reenactments, powerpoint slides, and spatial understanding or great details about the environment in which the story takes place. Downfall: Over decoration or too many items that do not pertain to the lesson can be distracting to a visual learner.
  • Aural (auditory-musical): Learns best using sound and music, hearing the story and Bible verse read or repeated aloud. Downside: Usually have difficulty reading and are more quiet, will be distracted by too much extra noise.
  • Verbal (linguistic): Learns best using words, both in speech and writing, has a phrase to repeat, reads part of the story or the Bible verse aloud or has a speaking part in the reenactment (drama/skit).
  • Physical (kinesthetic): Learns best using their body, hands and sense of touch. Use of story props or object lessons where the item can be passed around or utilized during thee lesson, can be an actor in the reenactment. 
  • Logical (mathematical): Learns best using logic, reasoning and systems. Start with a teaser question or riddle, let them try to figure out what happens next in the story before you continue, ask follow up questions after the lesson. Downfall: Typically have trouble with concept of Faith. They need to fully understand something and have concrete answers or absolutes. 
  • Social (interpersonal): Learns best in groups or with other people.The use of small groups or teams works well. 
  • Solitary (intrapersonal): Prefers to work alone and use self-study. Handouts and items they can have or use on their own helps them feel involved. Downside: Difficult to get them to succumb to group involvement, usually has trouble making friends but likes being near the teacher or a teacher's helper. 

Another great way to add learning styles is to use sensory stations. For example: If your bible story takes place on the beach, use a sand and water table for touch (kinesthetic/physical) ocean waves and wildlife sounds for hearing (auditory), coco butter lotion or a salty mist for the smell (logical), saltine crackers for taste (kinesthetic) and a map of the beach or to the "beach" is great fun to the logical and everyone. This can be incorporated into the lesson time or even used as stations that the children rotate to. Sensory stations are especially useful for younger children. 

          There are endless ways to incorporate learning styles and by doing so you will make a greater impact on your audience and create a more memorable experience with the Word of God for your class.

          What innovative ways have you used to enhance learning?

Titus 2:7-8

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