10 Great Websites for Kinesthetic Learners

By Rob Klindt

While only about 15 percent of students are kinesthetic learners, it’s important for teachers to keep the needs of these students in mind when developing classroom lesson plans and activities.

These students are often described as “hands-on” learners because they need to include movement, organization and tactile activities while learning.

That’s not a bad thing.

Architects, designers, engineers and builders are often kinesthetic learners. These learners also may excel in the arts, sports and medical fields as dancers, musicians, athletes or surgeons.

Kinesthetic learners enjoy many common interests, including:

  • Participating in physical activities
  • Organizing classroom materials and notes
  • Collaborating with others
  • Trying new things
  • Playing sports and performing for stage and screen

Kinesthetic is one of three major learning styles; the others are visual and auditory. Visual is the most common learning style, accounting for about 80 percent of students. Visual learners respond to charts, multimedia, demonstrations and flashcards. Auditory learners, who make up just 5 percent of classroom learners, thrive on verbal discussions, lectures and debates.

Fortunately, these learning styles overlap in many areas, so most students can benefit from lesson plans designed for kinesthetic learners. Teachers can find an abundance of free and low-cost resources for kinesthetic learners on the Internet. Here is an overview of some of the best:

Movement

Computer-aided design and drawing software programs often appeal to kinesthetic learners and can prepare them to enter the 21st century workforce.

  • Alice. This collection of downloadable software from Carnegie Mellon University teaches students from all grade levels computer programming fundamentals in a 3D environment. Users develop thinking and problem-solving skills while they drag, drop and manipulate onscreen objects to create programs that can run animated movies and video games. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Several websites have excellent resources for kinesthetic learnersAmusement Park Physics. From Annenberg Learner, this colorful and fast-paced interactive program teaches students how the laws of physics apply to amusement park rides. Students can take what they’ve learned and design their own roller coaster. Free.
    Visit the site
  • SketchUp Make. This online drawing software allows users to create, modify and share 3D models of structures, vehicles and schematic plans while emphasizing movement and manipulation of online tools. Free; registration is required. A premium version with extra tools and capabilities is available for a fee.
    Visit the site

Organization

Digital flash cards and organizational software can help students with various learning styles.

  • Cram. With just a few clicks, students can study, memorize and test themselves on facts and figures using hundreds of digital flash cards covering a multitude of educational subjects. There’s also an app store to download mobile flash cards for Android, iPhone and tablets. Free; registration required to create and download custom cards.
    Visit the site
  • Quizlet. This massive collection of interactive study tools covers K-12 core subjects using digital flash cards, multiple-choice quizzes, games and audio feedback. Users can create custom study sets to focus on specific class projects. Apps for Android, iPhone and Kindle Fire tablets are available. Free.
    Visit the site
  • RecallPlus. This downloadable software organizes written class study notes into digital “cards” that are linked together based on related content. It also can generate interactive tests from the notes. The “Lite” version of this program is free; a premium version with more functionality is available for a fee.
    Visit the site

Collaboration

Programs that involve teamwork, project development and creativity are especially helpful to kinesthetic learners.

  • Education Place. Teachers will find a treasure trove of links to classroom activities designed for K-8 students that encourage collaboration and creativity while learning. The lesson plans cover subjects from learning the alphabet to creative writing, storytelling, geography and science. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Shapes Shoot. Designed for early math and geometry students, this interactive arcade game teaches students to identify and measure basic shapes including triangles, rectangles, spheres, squares and pyramids. Timed tests can be saved and shared with other students or the teacher.  Free.
    Visit the site
  • SMART Exchange. Designed for teachers, this website offers hundreds of downloadable lesson plans, interactive graphics, quizzes and games covering all K-12 core subjects. Many of the programs are written to engage visual and kinesthetic learners. Free; registration required.
    Visit the site
  • Virtual Keyboard. What’s more fun than an occasional classroom music break? It’s especially fun when everybody can make their own sounds using this online piano keyboard. Students can learn music notes and create their own songs. Free.
    Visit the site

For teachers, the challenge is to come up with the right mix of classroom assignments and activities that will engage students of all learning styles. Technology offers one of the best, and most versatile, ways to do that.

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10 Great Websites for Visual Learners

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