Lockdown Day 75 – Multisensory Learning
Education of the Senses
Over the past weeks, we have been exploring how children learn through their senses. In these previous posts, we have looked at how the individual senses can be developed and strengthened.
We know that all learning happens through the senses, which act as pathways to the brain. The primary pathways to a child’s brain are through the following senses:
- Visual – through the sense of sight
- Auditory – through the sense of hearing
- Olfactory – through the sense of smell
- Gustatory – through the sense of taste
- Tactile – through the sense of touch
- Kinaesthetic – through body movement
We live in a multisensory world. Everything we experience, be it a walk in the forest or an excursion to the shopping centre, excites more than one of these senses at the same time. The human brain has therefore evolved to learn and grow in this multisensory environment. According to the whole brain learning theory, all brain functions are interconnected for this reason. When learning engages multiple areas of the brain (stimulated by the various senses) we have more opportunity to develop stronger memories and better understanding.
* MULTI-SENSORY LEARNING *
Multi-sensory learning engages children through multiple senses, which not only increases the pathways in the brain, but also speaks to the children’s inherent favoured learning styles. Some children learn best by seeing, some by hearing, others by doing. Through the engagement of multiple senses, lessons can become more engaging and interesting and hence the children will be more likely to have more impact.
Here are some ideas of how you can stimulate your child’s learning in a multi-sensory manner.
* A MULTI-SENSORY EXPLORATION *
We often try to teach children about the natural world by showing them pictures and asking them to colour in worksheets. Consider how different this is to a multi-sensory experience.
Let’s take a tree as an example.
- LOOK at the tree. Ask the child some leading questions about the tree. What does it look like? This is a great opportunity to develop the child’s vocabulary and to include some noun and adjective practice! What parts of the tree can the child see? What colours can the child see? What lives on the tree?
- LISTEN to the tree. Sit quietly under the tree. Close your eyes. What can you hear? Can you hear the leaves rustling? Can you hear birds? Bees? Lean your ear against the tree trunk. Can you hear anything?
- SMELL the tree. Does the trunk smell different to the leaves? The flowers? Does the tree have fruit?
- TASTE the tree… Well – we will leave this one up to you! You will need to determine whether the tree (or any part of it) is ‘taste-able’!
- TOUCH the tree. What does the trunk feel like? Does the bark on the trunk feel the same as the branches? What do the leaves feel like? The flowers? The fruit?
- MOVE like a tree. Consider what it feels like to be a mighty tree standing tall. How does this change when there is a gentle wind blowing? A strong wind? A gale?
You can use the same technique for just about every learning experience in every area of your home!
See how this approach changes your child’s enthusiasm about learning.
Find all of our lockdown tips here – https://www.montessorisa.co.za/blog/