The majority of the classes that I teach in middle school have more boys than girls. In one class I have sixteen boys and ten girls. Middle school boys have a lot of energy and there are many ways to harness their energy into valuable learning experiences.
Here are five things that you can do in your classroom to help the kinesthetic learners:
1. Brainstorms don’t have to be an activity where a teachers record on the SMARTBoard the answers that students share or one student acts as the scribe writing down the responses from his/her peers. Rather, put large chart paper around the room and have each student go around the room responding to each question. This allows for everyone to write down a response and to move around the room. Another brainstorm idea is to use a paper towel roll as paper and have students record their answers while sitting on the floor and writing responses on a rolled out ream of paper towels. I used the ones at school because they are as thick as paper!
2. Take a survey by asking students to stand up if they agree. The other day I asked my students about 20 questions related to their values and students had to stand if they agreed with the statement. This saved me from making photocopies of the survey and again, allows for movement.
3. Bingo and Pursuit activities allow students to move around the classroom and find other students who can help answer questions related to a specific topic.
4. Throw in a little drama. Have students act out a scene from a book, picture from history, or scientific experiment.
5. Create learning stations where students can move around. Each station can include a different activity that caters to a particular learning style. Make sure the kinesthetic learning station allows students to touch, taste, and smell as well as see and hear.
For more about teaching boys in the classroom, Kathleen Cleveland’s Teaching Boys Who Struggle in School offers more insight and information.