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Multisensory learning—what is that, and how is it beneficial?

“If a child is not learning and paying attention to your teaching, why not change the teaching strategy and make him learn the way he wants to learn.”

There are no bad teachers or bad students, but it is all about learning differences. Multisensory learning is about getting learners to use more than one of their senses when they get new information. This way of learning encourages using things that speak to our seeing, hearing, moving and touching feelings. It might also include taste, smell or touch senses.

Learning with all senses is one of the most effective ways to teach kids who have learning problems like Dyslexia or ADHD, and those who find it hard to learn. This makes it easier for them at school and at home. It’s also a good way to make sure all kids can learn. It gives different ways for them to take in new things, not just reading and writing alone. If you are a teacher or if your kid has learning issues; you have landed on the right page. In this article, we will explore everything about the power of multisensory learning strategies.

What is Multisensory Learning?

Multisensory learning is one of the most effective ways of teaching concepts. The majority of the educators face challenges in early teaching programs. This learning technique involves the senses while learning about concepts. It involves functioning of multiple areas in the brain and by adding auditory or visual components to reading such as illustrations or graphics, it becomes much easier to understand. Multisensory learning must be added to curriculum development. Learning with sounds, hearing, listening, seeing, or touching. Moreover, through kinesthetic–learning through body movement or activity. Learning through taste and smell is also an evident part of multisensory learning.

How does Multisensory Learning work?

Multisensory learning is a key pillar of TRUGS (Teaching Reading Through Play). It is a learning method with the use of senses which helps a learner with learning differences to remember concepts better. Multisensory learning helps kids learn differently; they understand new ideas more effectively.

For example: In multisensory learning, if we want to teach a kid about volcano experience, since it is a hands-on-experiment; students are supposed to create a model volcano. The use of multiple senses will be facilitated, for instance seeing. The students will visually observe images or videos of the volcanic eruptions to understand how molten lava comes out. The next sense–touching; the student would then create their own volcano model.

That’s how multisensory learning techniques are used when there are learning differences. By integrating multisensory learning in the classroom, the understanding will become more memorable, encouraging a holistic grasp of learning concepts.

What are the Multisensory Learning Benefits?

There are multiple benefits of multisensory learning. Learning with more than one sense is definitely something more innovative. This technique helps kids with learning differences, as they find it difficult to understand the concept and remember them. Multisensory learning techniques work well with children with special needs.

However, it is also important to know that problems with learning and different ways of learning like Autism and ADHD are often not found out until a person is grown up. They are on the spectrum but at times due to lack of awareness they are not categorized. Using multisensory learning for all kids makes sure that any with hidden special needs still get to enjoy this helpful and fun way of teaching.

For example: If a kid has trouble remembering things in their mind, the sound processing can help them. Hearing the teacher talk about ideas will not be the best way to make them remember. But, using senses like seeing and touching will be a more appropriate way to help such kids. Every kid is unique, and this teaching method surely works for all of them.

Using methods that involve more than one sense and activities is different from traditional teaching methods. This helps students learn in different ways. This difference is important for giving everyone a fair chance to meet and go beyond expectations, no matter what their favorite way of learning is.

The main benefit of multisensory learning is that it makes a kid remember more things. To teach with all the senses, and the use of different things that can be seen or felt is an effective approach. Focus mostly on types that involve listening, watching or feeling first. Then add other parts where needed if it helps them learn better. By using senses in fun activities, learning will be both enjoyable and better too! Learning by using different senses (touching, hearing and seeing) at the same time has been shown to help us think better and remember more.

Which subjects can be taught using Multisensory Learning?

Multisensory learning technique is a different type and can be used and adapted to support students with learning differences. It can be used in any topic area or subject. Starting from the early years to secondary and higher education; there is no restriction. In addition to this, the traditional learning process also involves multisensory learning as a normal way to teach topics to the students.

For example, multi-sensory teaching is a common way to teach kids in kindergarten about letters. Teaching kids using touch, sound and sight in a multisensory way for language is often done to starting with magnetic letters. It also makes them aware of how sounds link up into words. Studies show that teaching using different ways helps young kids to link sounds, words and letters quickly. Integrating multisensory learning to classroom math games is also an effective way to teach numbers.

In a science class, hands-on experiments and writing down the results. It’s a great way to learn with all your senses. Students work hands-on and use touch learning along with seeing and writing down the results of their test. Let’s explore different types of multisensory learning techniques.

Visual Techniques:

Visual learners want to integrate vision in learning and teaching. T technique can be used in a lot of areas like reading the text or making creative pictures such as posters and paintings. Video clips could also be used to teach someone something new during learning time.

Using pictures can also aid readers who struggle with dyslexia and learners that rely on hearing or touch. For instance, using images to demonstrate how to knit or sew, or writing music signs on paper.

Auditory Techniques:

This technique is to help a student, who learns best by hearing. These kids like to hear instructions for a project instead of doing things with their hands. They also prefer hearing about lessons rather than reading books themselves.

Some ways to understand sounds are using songs, music or clapping. This can include tunes and words in them too like lyrics and conversations from a story being told. It’s all about how you listen!

Tactile Techniques:

Learning with touch is called tactile learning. Mostly matching with learning through movement, touch-based instructions usually involve small actions.

It might involve using finger paints, coins, letter tiles and dominoes. It could also include the use of sand or poker chips with different textures like raised line paper. Also, plastic items like toys or clay can make good tactile ways to learn.

Kinesthetic Techniques:

These are also known as learning by doing. Learners who use kinesthetic learning prefer to learn by moving and doing. They use both motor skills like running or jumping, and smaller actions such as writing with a pencil.

The hands-on method is an effective way to teach, where learners get involved in activities. For example, when a kid learns to ride their bike or use the swing. Doing activities that mix learning with body movement, like clapping to a beat or jumping rope is called Kinaesthetic activity.

Wrap up:

Multisensory learning technique is a different method of teaching which helps learners to retain more knowledge. The best way to make the multisensory technique turn into a fun activity is to ensure that all of the learners are engaging in the learning process. Multisensory learning does not only make the learning process more pleasant but it also enhances the effectiveness, and helps in improved memory retention and mental cognition.

Marcus Nelson

Marcus Nelson

Marcus Nelson is an experienced educational consultant, specializing in mathematics coaching and leadership development. With over 20 years of experience, Marcus has helped public and charter schools in high-poverty areas to improve their academic outcomes, particularly in the field of mathematics. Marcus works with teachers and principals to build out systems that help maximize education for students. Marcus Nelson's educational consulting business is dedicated to improving teaching and learning in schools, with a focus on improving mathematics results.

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