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Understanding Learning Styles


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This article is intended to help teachers, especially children's ministry teachers, understand why Learning Styles is such an important issue to understand in order to connect with one's students. A clear and concise definition and examination of all three learning types- auditory, visual, and kinesthetic will be conducted and practical will be shared as to how teachers can structure their lessons to meet the needs of children from each learning type

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Understanding Learning Styles

  1. 1. Understanding Differences in Learning Styles
  2. 2.  Have you ever noticed that in the exact same week, with the exact same lesson being taught, certain children can be enthralled and enthusistic about the teaching material, yet others seem like they would much rather be taking a nap at home? Unfortunately, we often quickly assume that the students are bored by what is being taught, when the problem could in fact be how lessons are taught. Image found at
  3. 3.  Each child processes information differently. They all learn in a different way. A child’s unique way of learning is known as his/her learning style or type. As a children’s teacher or children’s worker it is crucial that you understand what these learning styles are, how to detect them, and how to teach in a way that meets the needs associated with each learning style. What are the different learning styles? Essentially, you can summarize the different learning styles into three categories: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Let’s look at all three categories in more detail.
  4. 4.  Auditory learners listen to the world around them in order to process and understand information. These students learn best through conversations, discussions, and lectures. They detect differences in information based on differences in sound. In order to connect with auditory students, teachers should strive to vary different elements of their voice, such as: tone, inflection, volume, and speed. Auditory learners also need to be given the opportunity to repeat information in their own words. Image found at
  5. 5.  It is estimated that 80% of what young children learn is through vision. Visual learners learn through objects, images, colors, and pictures- information is fed to their brain through their eyes! Graphs, timelines, and pictures are all wonderful teaching tools that will connect with a visual learner. Visual learners are also naturally drawn to arts and crafts. Image found at
  6. 6.  Other ideas to stimulate the visual learners’ mind is to: 1. Color-code certain information. 2. Use hand-outs. 3. Draw out ideas on the chalkboard. 4. Utilize flash cards. Visual learners also enjoy taking notes and filling out hand-outs. Image found at Clemson College of Engineering and Science
  7. 7.  Kinesthic learners touch and feel new information. They need body movement to help them understand what they are being told. Discovery and exploration are huge for kinesthetics. They want to search for the answer and find it themselves. Learning is best acheived when it becomes a game. These type of students are often mistaken to be rowdy and undisciplined but this is often not the case. Kinesthetic learners simply view the world as their own little playground to discover and explore.
  8. 8.  Here’s some tips that will hopefully benefit you as you try to connect with the kinesthetic learners in your classroom: 1. Hands-on activities are a must! 2. Use objects that can be touched and felt. 3. Teach through games. 4. Word searches, puzzles, sword drills, Bible searches, and review games are just some interactive activities that will engage kinesthetic learners during class, yet can still be used to teach them biblical truths. 5. Allow students to write answers to questions on the board. 6. Plan portions of your lesson that involve body movement, such as standing up, crouching, walking, and doing hand-motions.
  9. 9.  The most important thing to remember is that almost all students are a combination of the three learning types. Research has shown that we retain 10% of what we hear; 20% of what we see; 65% of what we hear and see; but 90% of what we hear, see, and do. As Children’s Ministry teachers, we have the most important teaching material on earth: God’s Word. How vital it must be for us to plan balanced lessons so that each child’s needs will be met and a maximum amount of learning will take place in our classrooms! For more teacher tips and Children’s Ministry Leadership ideas, check out!