Different Ways of Learning

“Different Ways of Learning,” Ensign, Mar. 1998, 71

Different Ways of Learning

There are four main styles of learning: visual (sight), auditory (hearing), tactile (touch), and kinesthetic (movement). When teaching children, determine which approach works best for each child. It is especially important to help children with disabilities discover their own best method of assimilating information. This can be done by your careful observation, keeping in mind that often it takes a combination of these styles to create the optimum educational environment. Here are some suggestions that can help parents or teachers teach gospel principles in each of these learning styles.

  • Visual. Children who learn visually remember what they see, so use a lot of pictures while telling a story. Try Church-produced videocassettes with gospel stories. To help children remember scripture stories, hang pictures in their bedrooms and other areas of the house. A fun activity is to have children write and illustrate a short story from the scriptures.

  • Auditory. Read aloud to children, stopping frequently to discuss what is being read. Prepare children ahead of time by discussing some facts and concepts they might listen for, and take time after to talk about principles and ideas. Encourage children to read aloud on their own.

  • Tactile. Use games and objects while talking about gospel principles or reading the scriptures. A flannel board is a good way to let children participate by holding and placing cutout figures. Children will remember the story better if they are allowed to move the figures around.

  • Kinesthetic. Help children find an active way to get involved with scripture stories, such as having plays or puppet shows in which they can narrate or act out different parts. Simple costumes can be easily made from old clothing or other things found around the house.

Using a variety of creative ways to present gospel ideas and stories helps all children, especially those with special needs, to better understand and remember what they are being taught.—Melissa Hodgman, Milwaukee, Wisconsin