Because kinesthetic learning is all about moving, touching, and doing, there are certain subjects it’s easier to tailor to their needs. Science, for one, is more interesting to everyone when it involves doing experiments in a hands on way. Math as well can be adapted to using objects, moving them around to add or subtract. And there are things you can do when learning to read, ways to help young kinesthetic learners physically make letters and things like that.
But the act of reading a book itself? Well, just by definition, it’s a pretty quiet, sedate activity. Many kinesthetic learners can learn to read just fine, but never become readers of habit or life-long readers because solo reading is not a physically engaging activity. These learners miss out on opportunities to enjoy stories and learn about the world around them because books are not interactive enough to suit their needs. However, with some effort on the side of teachers and parents, the act of reading can be made a little more lively, and therefore appealing, for such learners.
For Pre-Readers and Young Readers
Sitting and listening to a book being read is great fun for auditory learners, and picture books are great for the visual learners, but what to do for the kinesthetic learners?
-Look for interactive books like Pat the Bunny, or lift the flap books. It’s a great way to give young children something to do with their hands while interacting with a story, and it’s especially helpful for tactile learners, which most young kids are.
-Instead of having your child sit quietly to listen during story time, let them sit on your lap, hold the book, and be in charge of turning the pages. You can also guide their hands to follow along with the words, or point out the action in the pictures. This is how my one-year-old loves story time.
For Early Readers
-Use a card or other bookmark that your child can hold under the text they read and move along with them. Even an action that small can help kinesthetic learners focus better.
-This one may sound barbaric to those of you (like me) who hold books sacred, but try cutting a picture book up (maybe ones you got cheap at a thrift store or have double copies of). Place the different sheets around the room so you move from spot to spot to read the next part of the story (kind of like an art gallery). I think this one sounds like a fun way to jazz up story time for any kid who has trouble sitting still.
For Older Readers
-These may not be very common in your home libraries, but it might be worth your while to invest in reader’s theater scripts or plays adapted for younger readers (or real plays for your teenage kinesthetic learners). Yes, reader’s theaters involve more than one person, but this could be another fun way to get the whole family involved in story time. Plus, scripts are meant to be held and read while standing, moving, and performing actions. This is a great way to expose your kinesthetic learner to classic stories and literary concepts, hopefully getting them hooked on the language. Besides, you might discover you have a budding thespian in your midst (theater is the perfect outlet for the expressive kinesthetic learner). Check out this site for some great free reader’s theaters for Elementary school ages and up.
-Encourage your child to mark up his or her books. Buy them colored pencils, highlighters, stickers, or whatever else interests them. Encourage them to underline, doodle, and take notes on what they read. This keeps their hands busy as well as their minds. It’s a great way to make reading more interactive for the advanced or older reader.
These are just a few suggestions. Which ones do you like? Any other ideas out there about how to make reading more interactive?
Welcome to ATeacherMom!I used to be a high school English teacher but I recently retired to raise my family. I now consider myself to be a teacher-mom. I am hoping to make my home the greatest classroom of all where learning is continual, innovative and most importantly fun.
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