Ideas for Making Lessons More Kinesthetic

four multi-colored stick figures with arms upraised

Purpose: Many students with limited literacy skills or learning challenges benefit from kinesthetic activities. Hands-on activities are minds-on activities.


  1. Is there a way students can show what they know while standing up? They can show how to organize or rank something by standing up with cards in the front of the room, or stand up to demonstrate responses to yes/no questions.
  2. Can students cut out some pictures or words and move them around instead of writing their answers?  Instead of drawing a line to show a matching pair, writing words in boxes, or circling answers, have students use word cards and place them to show their answers choices.  Pass out a class set of scissors and have students cut out word cards to save prep time.
  3. Can students use the board? Invite students to write notes on the board instead of the teacher, or share their answers by writing them on the board.  Students will be less shy in a crowd, so invite a few to write simultaneously.
  4. Do you have any spare clothes pins, paper clips or popsicle sticks? Students can use these items to clip or point to answers to questions, important ideas they read, or unfamiliar vocabulary.
  5. Are there enough students in the class to do a mingle activity? Students all stand up, walk around and ask each other questions and then write responses.

The following tutor tips describe activities with a kinesthetic component to them:

Let’s Pack! Listening Activity
The Circle Game
Round the Circle
Sight Word Toss
Walking Dictation
Four Corners
Ball Toss
I Have…Who Has…?
Clapping Verbs
Past Tense Stand Up
Walking Questions
Personal Information TPR
Rubber Bands for Stress and Rhythm
Daily Appointments
Comparative Dice
Stop! Watch Out!
Making a Bar Graph with Sticky Notes
Milling to Music
Out of Your Seats!
Checking for Comprehension Using TPR

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