Support the kinesthetic learner in your class or at home by using strategies that help them improve their reading. The kinesthetic learner needs movement to best master learning objectives; the following links provide multi-sensory activities that will support these children in reading – from comprehension to spelling patterns work – these activities are sure to help any English teacher out!
1. Wikki Stix
These wax-coated sticks can be formed into letters of the alphabet to help support kids’ mastery of letters. You can also use them to spell out words using the Stix and plastic or foam letters. What is also great about them is that they help with motor skills and are mess-free fun!
Learn More: Wikki Stex
2. Sand or Salt Boards
For help with spelling lessons or letter formation, try using sand or salt boards. Students can trace letters or words in the sand and practice as many times as needed. It is wonderful for some students with sensory issues and this site even teaches you how to scent the sand/salt!
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3. Word Puddle Jumping
Kinesthetic learners enjoy movement when learning. This activity has students up and moving by stepping or jumping on words. There is a variety of ways to use this activity and it can be adapted to any grade level and for differing activities such as sentence structure or spelling.
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4. Play “Simon Says”
What kid doesn’t like a game of “Simon Says”? You can bring literacy into the game by having students read different sentences and perform the correct action.
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5. Use Slinkies to Stretch Their Words
In this simple reading activity, your kiddos will use Slinkies to stretch out their words. Start by having them say each letter of a small word like “tip” while encouraging them to stretch their Slinkies out. Once they’ve mentioned each letter, they’ll let their Slinkies snap back before perfectly pronouncing the whole word!
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Tactile activities are great for kinesthetic learners. Create simple flipbooks to help support phonics instruction in your classroom. You can create flipbooks with different levels and it is an easy way for students to review their skills.
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7. Play “Swatting Flies”
A creative learning activity to get students moving is “swatting flies”. This activity can be adapted to students working on identifying letter sounds, sight words, or parts of speech.
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8. Acting Out adverbs
An effective activity for learning adverbs is acting them out! You can pair this activity with a text or decide on predetermined adverbs. The activity also works well with teaching verbs.
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9. Play Sight Word Twister
Kinesthetic learners learn well through games. This game of Twister is altered into a learning game. Students have to be able to identify specific words to make their move.
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10. Word scavenger hunt
A fun way for students to practice words on their spelling list is through a scavenger hunt! Students have to search for letters on Post-its or letter tiles and then decipher which words they are spelling.
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11. Teach Letter Sounds Through Actions
An exercise activity for teaching reading is learning the letter sounds through action. You have students complete certain actions to teach different sounds. For example, have students act as a snake for /sn/.
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12. Paper Plane Sight Words
A simple hands-on strategy is using paper planes to identify sight words. Students get to move about AND not get in trouble for flying a plane in class. It is a fun yet easy way for students to practice their sight words.
Learn More: This Reading Mama
13. Beach ball toss
A creative reading activity that works for both younger and older students, is using a beach ball to work on reading comprehension. Have students toss the ball around the room and when it stops, they must answer the question that faces them.
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14. Walk and Re-tell
This activity is good for middle school students to get up and walk around class. It is similar to a gallery walk, but you have areas of the rooms set up where students will have discussions based on specifics of the text.
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15. Connect Four
A favorite hands-on activity for spelling is using Connect Four! Challenge students to spell as many words as they can individually or as a competition.
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16. Spelling With Legos
Legos are a student favorite and this activity brings building and spelling together! Students can see the different letter sounds that make up the word and you can also use it to teach spelling rules. If needed, you can also use the colors to separate vowels and consonants to support children even more.
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17. Spelling With Beans
Spelling beans are a fun way for students to strengthen their spelling skills. By having lowercase and uppercase letters, you can also work on proper nows. You can make this activity more advanced by writing words on the beans (or pasta) and having students use them to create complete sentences.
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18. Rhyming Ring Toss Game
If you are teaching rhyming, this is a wonderful activity to get students out of their seats! Have students play ring toss while practicing their rhyming skills. You can make a fun game out of this for younger students!
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Jenga is a student favorite and there is so much you can do with it. You can use it for asking reading comprehension questions, sight words, and more.
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20. Graffiti Walls
Older students are often stuck in their seats so get them up and moving with graffiti walls. It is a super simple activity that allows students to move around, but also provides peer feedback. Students will answer a prompt from the wall and also have an opportunity to comment or piggyback off of their peer’s answers.
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21. 4 Corners
4 corners is probably one of the easiest and most adaptable games to play in class. You have the corners represent degrees, multiple-choice, etc. Once students choose a corner you can ask them to defend their answer.
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22. Play “I Have, Who Has”
“I Have, Who Has” is great for learning reading (or in any subject area). It gets students moving around the room and engaging with one another…all while learning! This is another game that is easily adaptable to a range of topics and subjects.
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23. Play Socratic Soccer Ball
Sometimes we don’t do enough movement in the classroom with older students. A Socratic soccer ball keeps to the theme of discussion but also engages students through movement. Rather than sitting in a circle, students can stand and kick the ball to one another.
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24. Provide Flexible Seating
While this is not specific to reading itself, having flexible seating available in your class, especially during silent reading or work time, is very important to kinesthetic learners. It allows them to move while being able to remain quiet and in one spot.
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25. Comprehension Construction Activity
This is a tactile activity but also gets students moving a bit through building. Students have to read and then try to build or draw an explanation of what is happening in the story. It helps with reading comprehension and allows students a creative outlet.
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