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 children 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 that leaders can take to facilitate optimal learning. When planning activities for a lesson, the leader should incorporate as many different senses into a lesson as possible.

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. Children go to school many hours each week, and we never want them to feel like missions education was just another hour of school. Listed below are some ways you can incorporate multisensory activities in your lesson.

  • Visual: Use a map or globe to locate the featured country or state; use pictures from the GA Leader Kit, the RA Leader Kit, and Children in Action Leader; watch short videos available on the WMU website and suggested websites each week in the curriculum; use GA World and RA World magazines.
  • Auditory: Sing contemporary Christian or children’s songs that match the theme of each unit; engage children 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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