Children whose primary learning modality is AUDITORY may hum or talk to themselves frequently. They can sing well. They like poems, and learn best when you give them verbal instructions. The auditory learner likes listening to records and stories, and can give answers more easily by talking than by writing.

Children whose primary learning modality is KINESTHETIC like to feel or touch everything they walk past or stand near. They nudge friends, take gadgets apart, and love to play with clay, dance, and work on art projects. These children may be particularly good at sports, and can spend all day on the monkey bars, parallel bars, and swings on the playground. Kinesthetic learners sometimes don't want to listen or read directions and they sometimes have difficulties sitting in seats for even short periods of time.

Children whose primary learning modality is VISUAL will enjoy books and pictures. They notice that you have a loose or missing button. They remember how things look and can describe them in detail. They particularly enjoy movies, may copy perfectly from other students' work and are very concerned about both their personal appearance and the appearance of their written or artistic work.


What impact does visual teaching have on a student whose primary learning modality is haptic or tactile? You guessed it.....the message doesn't get through. How can we make sure the message gets through? By finding the particular task that give the child trouble---once the "trouble spot" is found you can choose another sense to teach the same topic. And THEN the child really begins to learn.


Careful observation can tell you which students may be having trouble learning in a certain modality.

Students who have difficulty with visual learning may confuse letters or words that look similar. They may reverse or invert letters. They may write a "p" as "q", or write an "m" as "w." The student may also have trouble remembering how pictures or rooms look, and may have difficulty judging distances. Another indicator of visual difficulties is poor performance in activities that require reading instructions. Students who have difficulty with auditory learning will perform poorly to spoken directions. They may have speech difficulties and poor vocabulary. The students may not be able to recognize rhyming words or distinguish between long and short vowel sounds. Their reading comprehension may test below grade level. They may even be unable to hum a simple melody correctly.

Children with Kinesthetic or motor difficulties will have a hard time imitating gestures. They're likely to have poor balance and coordination. They usually do poorly with pencil-paper tasks. They have trouble staying within lines when coloring, and they can't keep time to music while marching or skipping.

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