Incorporating Learning Styles in Missions Education

Every child is different. All children have different likes and dislikes, different levels of ability and education, and different learning preferences. The kids we teach may be visual learners, auditory learners, or kinesthetic learners. While it would be difficult to fully accommodate each learner in the short period of time they participate in missions education each week, there are definite steps leaders can take to facilitate optimal learning. When planning activities for a lesson, leaders should incorporate as many different senses into the lesson as are feasible.

Multisensory instruction is one of the best ways for children to learn. When a child only hears or reads, he or she may retain a small amount of the material. But when tactile activities are combined with auditory and visual components, comprehension increases dramatically. And, of course, we want missions education to be fun and enjoyable! Kids go to school many hours each week, and we never want them to feel like missions education is just another hour of school. Listed below are some ways you can incorporate multisensory activities into your lessons.

  • Visual: Use a map or globe to locate the featured country or state; watch short videos available on the WMU website and the websites suggested most weeks in the curriculum.
  • Auditory: Sing contemporary Christian or kids’ songs that match the theme of each unit; engage kids through creative storytelling or re-telling; play listening games; find websites related to your unit with audio functions.
  • Kinesthetic: Plan arts and crafts activities; try activities using scissors; prepare and cook recipes; introduce real objects that fit the lesson (i.e. sombrero and maracas).

You can also include the senses of taste and smell by adding cooking and tasting activities and providing various scents associated with the unit. Challenge yourself to expand your planning and involve as many senses as possible to reach all types of learners as you share the good news of Jesus with them.

 

By Jennifer Smith

 

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