5 Characteristics of Kinesthetic Learners

Do you think you are a kinesthetic learner? Are you an educator who is trying to learn more about your students' learning styles? Keep reading to learn more about common characteristics of kinesthetic learners.

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Characteristics of Kinesthetic Learners

Learning has always been a part of human nature and we all have different ways of learning. The 5 characteristics of kinesthetic learners are important to understand so that you can better teach, or learn. We all are avid learners, and we each have a learning style preference. This blog post will analyze kinesthetic learner characteristics.

Learning, in itself, is a beneficial activity. The better a person is at learning new skills or concepts, the more successful they can be in a particular field. Many experts have tried to understand the mechanism behind how our brain learns new things. They have developed various models of learning styles, among which the VARK model[1] is quite popular.

VARK stands for visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. According to this theory, we learn things either by watching, listening, reading/writing, or by doing. Kinesthetic learners learn best by doing.

Kinesthetic Learners

  • Learn much better when allowed to move. If students can move around when being taught a concept (like in a field trip) or use movement to illustrate a concept (acting out a scene from a play) the information sticks.
  • Are very coordinated. Since these students enjoy moving, they tend to excel in movement activities like dancing or physical education.
  • Enjoy using manipulatives. Any provided object will improve comprehension, even if it’s studying with a notecard and flipping it from one side to another.
  • Remember what was physically completed. Performing a learning activity will resonate with kinesthetic learners more so than recalling what they saw or heard.
  • Are typically outgoing in nature and love to participate in group activities.

1. Movement is Key

To start, the characteristics of kinesthetic learners are that they wiggle, tap, swing their legs, bounce, and often just can’t seem to sit still. They learn through their bodies and their sense of touch.

2. Coordinated and Often Excel in Physical Activities

They have great hand-eye coordination and quick reactions. Also, kinesthetic learner characteristics include having an excellent sense of their body in space and of body timing.

3. Enjoy Using Manipulatives

People with bodily kinesthetic learning styles learn best when they are permitted to use their tactile senses and fine and gross motor movement as part of the learning process. They often prefer direct involvement with the material they are learning rather than worksheets or reading from a book. Kinesthetic learner characteristics include them enjoying using manipulatives to learn.

4. Excellent Physical Memory

Characteristics of kinesthetic learners include that they learn quickly and permanently what they do as they are learning. SnapWords are sight words that are taught using body motions.

5. Outgoing by Nature

These students usually enjoy community plays and clubs. They like to be a class helper and run errands for the teacher. They enjoy and will take any and all opportunities to participate and move.

5 Characteristics of Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic learner characteristics are they try things out, touch, feel and manipulate objects. Body tension is a good indication of their emotions. They gesture when speaking, are poor listeners, stand very close when speaking or listening, and quickly lose interest in long discourse.

Additionally, the characteristics of kinesthetic learners are they remember best what has been done, not what they have seen or talked about. They prefer direct involvement in what they are learning. They are distractible and find it difficult to pay attention to auditory or visual presentations. Rarely an avid reader, they may fidget frequently while handling a book. Often poor spellers, they need to write down words to determine if they “feel” right.

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