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Kinesthetic learners benefit most from doing, moving, or having other hands-on experiences.


  • A “mover”, often hyperactive; can’t “keep hands to him or herself”
  • Learns by touching, working with hands, using concrete objects
  • Often has difficulty with numbers, letters, sequencing, counting, alphabetizing
  • Prefers hands-on learning
  • Speak with their hands and with gestures
  • Activities such as cooking, construction, engineering and art help them perceive and learn
  • Sit near the door or someplace else where they can easily get up and move around
  • Communicate by touching and appreciate physically expressed encouragement, such as a pat on the back or hug
  • Can assemble parts without reading directions
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Learns better when physical activity is involved
  • May be very well coordinated and have athletic ability
  • Experiential learning (making models, doing lab work, and role playing)


Lecture situations can be challenging. Make them work for you by doing the following:

  • Be sure to attend all classes, recitations, and extra sessions offered for each of your courses
  • If you need to fidget, experiment with ways of moving; just be sure not to make noise or create a vibration that disturbs others. Try squeezing a tennis or koosh ball.
  • Doodling is fine, but don't let it draw your attention away from the professor
  • Use different colors to highlight main ideas
  • Keep highlighters or a pen with multiple inks with you at all times while studying

Study Tips

  • Trace letters and words to learn spelling and remember facts
  • Use computers to reinforce learning through use of touch
  • Memorize or drill while walking or exercising
  • Express abilities through dance, drama or gymnastics
  • Take frequent breaks when studying. A 5-minute break for every 20-30 minutes of study is reasonable. Do NOT watch TV or talk on the phone during breaks!!
  • Before beginning an assignment set, write a specific goal. Post it where you will glance at it frequently. For instance, "From 7-7:30, I am going to read Chapter 32 in Biology.”  Read it again out loud.
  • Before reading an assignment:
    • Look at all the pictures and headings in that section
    • Read the end-of-chapter questions and the summary
    • Get a "feel" for the whole chapter by reading the end sections first, and then work your way back to the beginning.
  • Whenever you have a particularly difficult reading, try following your finger as you read.
  • If you don't study well at a desk, use a couch or soft chair, and change positions frequently.
  • Try studying with background music
  • If you have access to exercise equipment, try reading while pedaling or walking
  • Put a brightly colored piece of construction paper on your study surface to help focus your attention. Experiment with different ways of using color.
  • Use note cards
    • Write the word or phrase in color on one side of an index card (one phrase per card)
    • Write a short definition or description on the back
    • Try organizing the cards into different piles to show relationships between them
    • To memorize your index cards, pace or walk around while reciting their contents. Do this while walking to and from classes, as well.
  • To review for a test, try closing your eyes and moving your hands to outline the information as you say it
  • You can also "write" things out with your finger on the desk or carpet
    • Picture the words in your mind as you do this
    • Later, to recall the information, close your eyes and try to see it with your "mind’s eye", "hear" it in your head, and "feel" it as you had written it
  • Keep highlighters or a pen with multiple inks with you at all times while studying
  • Use movement: tap out numbers, syllables, and tempo
  • Use concrete, manipulative learning aids, like felt markers for reinforcement