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Kinesthetic learners

Kinesthetic learners are learners who prefer to process and learn information through large and small muscle movements and hands-on-experiences. Large and small muscles hold memory, so involving movements in the learning process creates muscle memory.  

The following are additional characteristics of kinesthetic learners:
  • Learn best by working with physical objects and engaging in hands-on learning that involves feeling, handling, using manipulating, sorting, assembling and experimenting with concrete objects.
  • Can recall information by duplicating the movement or hand motions involved in the learning process.
  • Learn well by using large muscle or full body movements, such as movements used when working at large charts, working at chalkboard or white board, role playing, dancing or performing.
  • Work well with their hands in areas such as repair work, sculpting and art.
  • Are well coordinated with a strong sense of timing and body movements.
  • Have a strong awareness of their need or interests to add movement to study and work situations.
  • Are able to focus better when they can engage in movement, which may include wiggling, tapping hands or feet, or moving legs when sitting.   
Kinesthetic learners often prefer to use strategies that engage their small and large muscles in the learning process.  The following essential strategies for kinesthetic learners strengthen and utilize kinesthetic skills.
  • Use hands-on learning. Handle objects, tools or machinery that you are studying.  For processes such as computer applications, repeat the hand-on learning applications several times to create muscle memory.
  • Create hands-on study tools. Create flash-cards that you can shuffle, spread out, sort, categorize and review.  Copy charts, diagrams, visual mappings or hierarchies; cut them apart and practice reassembling the pieces.
  • Get out of the chair.  When you study, engage large muscles by using exaggerated hand expressions or body movements.  Pace or walk with study materials in hand.
  • Work standing up.  Work at a chalkboard, white board or flip chart to list, draw, practice, or rework problems.  Use poster paper to create study tools, such as large visual mappings, chart or timelines. 
  • Used action based activities. Create ways to add action to the learning process; for example, if you are studying perimeters, tape off an area and walk the perimeter.
  • Use a computer or electronic devices. Type information and create notes, tables and charts on the computer.  Enter or access information on electronic devices.  Keyboard strokes help create muscle memory that you can use to simulate the actions and recall information. 



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