Movement, action, excitement, pretending, play; all types of kinesthetic learning, and all things kids love.
When we can incorporate these things into learning to read, we’ve hit the memorization jackpot. Engagement instantly goes up and retention of information skyrockets.
To top it all off, having students performing actions while practicing the words they are learning helps their brains to retain the information they have learned. Add a pinch of color in there and viola! Instant success. And if all of this isn’t enough…acting words out is simply so much FUN!!!
Keep reading to find out how you can incorporate this fun and interactive strategy into your classroom, to help your students bank new words into their sight word memory!
Kinesthetic learning is when students are moving around while they learn. It can be performing actions to remember words, or motions to remember definitions. No matter the movements, when you tie movement to learning, the brain remembers it more quickly, and with less repetitions. In the end, retaining new learning is what we we’re all about, right? Besides, the majority of students need to get up and moving around to stay engaged in learning anyway!
If learning new sight words is a standard your students are working on, acting words out could help them reach that goal. Now, if you are up with the Science of Reading, you may be thinking that students should not memorize words, and should rather understand the patterns in words. True!! But they can still do it while using actions like those listed below.
Types of Kinesthetic Learning Actions
When incorporating kinesthetic learning into your classroom routine, and considering what actions you’d like to have your students do, there are many different variations you can choose from. They can include:
- Voice variations
- Animal moves
- Sporting moves
- Action moves
- Dance moves
Making this a consistent routine in your classroom will boost success. While acting words out is super fun, and your students will love it no matter how often it’s done, acting out things out day after day can increase retention.
If it seems like time is a constraint and there is no way you can fit this in every day, start with just once a week. Then move to 3 times a week. You can slowly work your way up to doing this every day and the more you do it, the easier it will flow. You’ll see just how quick and it easy it will fit right into your already busy schedule.
Another great thing about kinesthetic learning is that you can incorporate it into independent literacy centers. Your students can use Act It Out cards to practice the words they are learning. This rotation is a hit and if your managment style allows for free center choice. This center always fills up fast!
You can even send a black and white set home with students, for when they are practicing their words at home or while doing their homework.
The best part is that acting words out doesn’t have to just be for sight words. You can use it to practice:
- Spelling words
- Vocabulary words
- Color words
- Number words
Or any words that you want your students to know and remember.
Student Created Kinesthetic Learning Actions
Students can even come up with their own ideas of how to act words out. It helps them take ownership over their learning and you’d be surprised at what wonderful, creative ideas they come up with!