Saturday, November 10, 2007

Learning Styles and Lesson Planning

As a teacher, you will be undoubtedly familiar with the idea of Learning Styles (the individual sets of needs and impediments which make up the way students learn). You will probably have used our LSA instruments and free group profiles to assess the learning styles prevailing in your class.

In other words, you will now know which of your students will be most responsive to external awards, what time of day to tackle new concepts and how to arrange your students into study groups. You will know when to present the global picture and when to concentrate on details of the material. You will know which of your students respond best to open-ended exam questions.

But planning every lesson in a way that allows for multi-sensory stimulation requires some consideration and a lot of creativity. In general, you can use the following guidelines, no matter what your subject and syllabus:
- kinesthetic students will benefit from field trips, acting out the lesson, dancing to memorise facts and moving their bodies (for example, forming letters with their arms will help them memorise their shape);
- tactile students will benefit from projects that involve making learning tools and models of new concepts with their hands (for example, a model of a cosine curve shaped out of clay, colouring in a map);
- internally visual students will need to imagine themselves inside the lesson’s topic (for example, in a microscopic boat travelling inside a person’s body when learning biology, or taking part in the Russian Revolution);
- externally auditory students will need to discuss the material with their peers, write and recite a poem about the new topic or explain the lesson to their younger siblings.

For more ideas on how to plan your lessons according to your students’ learning style needs and non-preferences, please refer to our LSA Manual.

No comments: