Brain Rule #9: Stimulate More of the SensesS The senses work together, so stimulating more of them increases learning.S Combining audio and visual results in greater memory recall than reading, hearing, or seeing alone.S If the learning experience is active, for example participating in a simulation or performing the action itself, recall is even higher (Medina, 2011).
Applying the Rule to SpellingS In this lesson, multiple senses are used as students interact with the spelling words, increasing recall.S Students will use their senses of sight, hearing, and touch as they learn to spell words.
Basic StepsS Students will trace spelling words at least three times.S Students will create a slide on which they type one of the spelling words at least three times.S Students will illustrate the slide.S Students will add a voiceover of themselves spelling their word.
ResourcesS Paper, pencil, and crayons to S Web site, blog, or other online write and trace spelling words resource to post student work and Internet access (optional,S Computers with drawing but highly desirable) software and ability to record voices
Rainbow WordsS Students begin by creating “rainbow words,” writing their spelling words in pencil and then tracing over them at least three times, each time using a different color crayon, while saying each letter aloud. If desired, the teacher may have the word pre-printed on the paper for students to trace in crayon.S Students bring their rainbow words to the computer lab, where they will select a word to use to create a slide using Pixie 3 or other drawing software.
Slide CreationS Students will type their word in three different fonts, each time in a different color.S Students will decorate their slide by using the painting or drawing tools to create an illustration of their spelling word or by adding a stamp. While not strictly part of Brain Rule #9, the act of decorating the slide can make the lesson more enjoyable and, therefore, more memorable. Brain Rule #4 states that we don’t pay attention to boring things (Medina, 2011).
VoiceoverS Students will record themselves spelling the word they used on their slide. For example, a student would say, “Water. W – A – T – E – R. Water.”S If desired, the teacher can combine all the students’ slides into a class presentation and post it online. In this way, not only can students see and hear the spelling for the words on the slides created by their classmates, but the presentation can also be shared with their families.
RubricCATEGORY 4 3 2 1Rainbow All requirements for All requirements for One requirement for More than oneWriting/Typing written/typed portion written/typed portion written/typed portion requirement for of project are met and of project are met. of project was not written/typed portion exceeded. completely met. of project was not completely met.Oral Presentation Clear, smooth Fairly clear delivery, Unclear delivery, but Delivery delivery, word word pronounced and word pronounced and incomprehensible, OR pronounced and spelled correctly. spelled correctly word pronounced spelled correctly. and/or spelled incorrectly.Resource Use All resources were Resources were used Some resources were Resources were often used in an in an appropriate used inappropriately; used inappropriately; appropriate manner at manner most of the student needed two student needed three all times; student did time; student required reminders about or more reminders not require any only one reminder behavior in computer about behavior in reminders about about behavior in lab. computer lab. behavior in computer computer lab. lab.
Multi-Sensory InputS This lesson emphasizes Medina’s Brain Rule #9 by combining various senses in multiple ways as students learn to spell words.S When students create the “rainbow words,” both the visual and auditory senses are engaged, and students are participating in the actual event about which they are learning.
Multi-Sensory Input, cont.S Creating the typed portion of the slide combines visual and kinesthetic/tactile elements; if speech functions are enabled in the software, the computer will say each letter as it is typed, thereby adding an auditory component.S Recording the voiceover for the slide is both visual and auditory, since students will be looking at the written word as they spell it out. In addition, this action provides them another opportunity to participate in the actual activity.
Multi-Sensory Input, cont.S Should the teacher decide to combine the student projects into a single presentation and post it online, the students would have an additional opportunity to interact with the words both visually and auditorily by watching and listening to the class presentation.
ReferenceS Medina, J. (2011) Sensory integration – Brain rules. Retrieved September 1, 2011, from http://www.brainrules.net/sensory-integration?scene=