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Kinaesthetic Ideas

Discussion in 'English' started by seska, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. I've been neglecting my kinaesthetic learners of late.I'm a bit stuck for ideas... just keep coming back to card sort and loop cards... is it just me, or is English really hard to make kinaesthetic activities for?

    Any thoughts?
  2. I've been neglecting my kinaesthetic learners of late.I'm a bit stuck for ideas... just keep coming back to card sort and loop cards... is it just me, or is English really hard to make kinaesthetic activities for?

    Any thoughts?
  3. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I recommend Googling VAKuous.
    And bad science.

  4. I'll staple that on to the feedback I get from my next performance management observation... I'm sure THE POWERS THAT BE will take it into consideration :)

    Actually though, thanks. I've never been entirely comfortable with the whole kinaesthetic idea, so will read it carefully (as opposed to a quick skim-read now with tired, post-planning eyes) later.
  5. Inherently you can't make language kinaesthetic, unlike maths, which can to a large extent be taught gemoetrically, or science, which can be taught largely in a practical way.
    You can stage drama and you can allow children to give talks using props, which will give primarily kinaesthetic children some way of participating, which might be valuable. However it's a best a benign illusion - yes, the child who makes a floating dagger for Macbeth has contributed something valuable to the life of the class, and it's much better than him running around making a nuisance of himself, but what he's learnt is a craft skill, not English.

  6. bgy1mm - very good point. I think that one needs to come back to the theory that it is the learning process which needs to be kinaesthetic rather than simply bunging in a few physical activities that have some superficial relevance to the topic.
    Think about yourself and how you learn. I would say that in terms of practical activities, I need to do a task myself, rather than simply be given a series of instructions, before the 'knowledge' becomes hard-wired in. Does that make me a kinaesthetic learner? Does the fact that a student throws things around the room or makes paper aeroplanes out of your worksheets in preference to doing any of the planned tasks, make him or her a kinaesthetic learner. Are all ADHD sufferers (or others with a short attention span) kinaesthetic learners?
    Ulitmately, perhaps a simple drawing and labelling task will engage a younger student and embed some basic information about, say, a character in a novel. Perhaps this may extend to annotating a poem or creating a storyboard. But what if your kinaesthetic learner does not 'want' to do this task and simply prefers throwing rubbers and pencils?
    Motivation and the extent to which the learning outcome is achievable by the individual is key and that is why focusing on an individual or small group when planning a task may be very helpful. Just because they enjoy an activity, however, does not mean they will learn from it, but on the plus side, a variety of activities will make the lesson more interesting and stimulating for all.
    How old are the children, what is it you want them to learn, how can they show you that they have learnt it? If it is not demonstrable then you will never know whether a VAK approach was successful.
    Just some early morning thoughts/ramblings....
    Hope for some interesting discussion on this thread.
  7. I don't know how old your learners are, but what what about a floor game? Take an unpatterned shower curtain and construct a board game large enough to walk on with some cards pertaining to your topic. Using a dice they can wend their way around the board by getting questions right or wrong - and the questions could be open ended, like "talk for one minute about the main character", or "find three similes in this extract" etc. Or, better still, get them to make and then play their own floor games.
    Some other ideas:

  8. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

  9. Thanks for the replies!

    I teach 11-16 year olds.

    In all honesty the whole idea of drama style activities scares the hell out of me. I'm just so totally out of my comfort zone. I'm afraid of the behaviour management side of it really. I know that makes me sound pathetic, but in my defence I do have some pretty challenging classes and I'm only just back from 9 months of maternity leave. I think perhaps I should start off gently with a little light hot-seating and take it from there.
  10. At the risk of sounding all "touchy-feely", if you can engage the kids using their learning modality, you are likely to have fewer behaviour issues. And it doesn't all have to be drama oriented. Getting the kids out of their seats, doing rather than listening, is likely to keep their interest up. ( Also, hotseating involves one active particpiant, and 20 inactive listeners, looking for opportunities to play up! ). If you can find out what the kids enjoy doing and harness that in the classroom, it might have some effect. For instance, if they are into hip-hop, let them write and perform a hip hop song from a character's point of view. It's not easy to engage behaviourally challenged kids, but the reward is there if you have the energy to be creative.
  11. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Then avoid it at all costs. Drama with challenging groups is hard enough for experienced drama teachers and in an English class they'll use it as an excuse to do less than nothing.
    All my classes are challenging, low ability and mainly boys. Social skills tend to be confined to insulting one another and fighting. I do have some of them for drama, too [​IMG]
    I tend to go for lots of activities with 'right' answers at KS3 - lots of structure - and they get it. And I never mark anything wrong. So they get lots of positive reinforcement, lots of ticks and Winnie the Pooh stamps all over their books, planners and reports. I promise you that this works with yr 11!
  12. I agree whole-heartedly with gruoch.
    I get the idea from your OP that what you are really concerned about is what your lessons are like when you are being observed. You mention performance management review and I guess Ofsted lurks in the back of everyone's mind too. So really, honestly, you just need to show you are ticking the VAK boxes - easier than conducting a debate on the merits or otherwise of this approach every time the subject comes up. Why give yourself more stress with activities you don't feel comfortable with?
    Just introduce a few regular 'features' into your lesson plan which are not theme specific. e.g. incorporate the dismissal from class into the final plenary -
    "George, stand up. Put your right hand on your head. Choose a number between one and five. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Russell. Russell stand up Russell put your left hand on your ear. Now, George, tell Russell one thing you remember from this lesson. Fantastic, chairs under, both of you can go to lunch. Do this with as many or as few kids as you have time for and if they don't remember anything make them do a forfeit such as "make a noise like a cat." Engineer for perfect responses when you are being observed.
  13. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I think I may love you, CK [​IMG]
  14. Whether you believe in / agree with kinaesthetics or not, considering VAK is a great way to get variety into your lessons and stop them from becoming samey or stale.

    Punctuation karate;
    Acting out the novel / poem;
    Freeze-framing a character's mood or charaters' relationships.

  15. Thank you for this reply; it has really helped. I am rubbish at being observed. All the good stuff I normally do, I somehow manage not to do in observations. I almost always do badly. I'm also suffering a crisis of confidence after being off on maternity leave. It's so much harder than I thought it would be.
  16. The best advice I can give regarding observations is: keep it simple. Every time I try to do something creative and impressive it goes wrong, or I try to fit too much in and end up rushing it. So keep it simple.
    In terms in kinaesthetics, I recently tried 'plastacine punctuation' which was fun and seemed pretty successful. Gave each pair a laminated worksheet with 5 large print unpunctuated sentences which they improved with the plastacine. They could just use board pens if you're worried about plastacine fights. I did only give them a tiny amount each and even my trickiest students enjoyed it without too much mess.
    Otherwise, take the card sort idea and run with it. I have tried giving them all a slip with a keyword or definition on arrival and they must find their partner. Or ranking activities where they each get a large print statement and have to stand up and arrange themselves in order to feedback to others.
    Or for agree/disagree activities, explain there is an imaginary clothes line across the classroom with agree on one end and disagree on the other. You read the statement or display on IWB and they have to 'peg' themselves on the line where they feel appropriate. Then question certain students to explain their decision.
    I have also done keyword/definition recaps by giving out a worksheet of definitions and sticking the keywords on post its round the room. They then have 3 mins to fill in all the correct answers.
    I also like sticking A4 paper around the room for a starter where they have to write a short answer underneath. Works well for colour connotations - stick different colours around the room and they write an association on the paper.
    And if you're scared of drama try baby steps by making a Blue Peter style cardboard box theatre and get them to make finger puppets for their performance.
    Hope any of these ideas help!
  17. Thanks - some great advice and ideas there.
  18. There must be a sitcom in here somewhere......[​IMG]
  19. I think what the 2nd poter was trying to tell you all was that the various "Learning Style" hypotheses are just that, hypotheses. (Google it). They have not been proven, and some would argue they are unprovable. The benefit of teaching children based on perceived "learning styles" has most definitely been rejected by peer-reviewed (Google it) research.

  20. Thanks for your Amazing advise i will use it in the Future

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