Physical Learning Style

Physical (kinesthetic)

How do you know that you're a physical learner?

  • You like to be actively involved in learning by using your hands, body, and sense of touch.
  • Have you ever found that you can think clearly when you are exercising or doing something like going for a walk?
  • Do you often find yourself getting up from your desk just to move around?
  • Do you enjoy physical activities like sports and making things with your hands?
  • It may be that you like doing detailed tasks with your hands such as sewing or carving.
  • You may enjoy "getting your hands dirty" with manual labor like gardening.
  • It could be that you seem to have a strong sense of feel to notice differences in textures or fabric.
  • You could be the type of person who seems to "talk with their hands."
  • As a child you may have been inclined to take your toys apart just to see how they worked.
  • A person with a physical learning style may often say these phrases:
    • This feels like the right thing to do.
    • I can't get a handle on the situation.
    • Let's keep in touch
    • I follow your drift.
    • They need to get a grip.
    • That idea just does not sit right with me.
    • My gut instinct is...

Tips for physical learners :

  • The act of taking notes will keep your hands and mind busy.
  • As things are being described try to imagine what they would feel like if you were actively doing them.
    • For example, if you are studying about forests try to imagine going on a hike. Think about the sensations of walking up a steep hill. Imagine how tired your legs and feet would feel. Identify what sounds you might hear and the smells you might encounter.
  • As you are preparing your study materials, use physical objects as much as possible. For example :
    • Flash cards for math or manipulatives to help you organize mathematical concepts
    • Try to actually hold, touch, and feel the objects being studied
  • Experiential learning is a beneficial learning technique for all types of learners, but especially for physical learners.
    • Experiential learning is when you get out of the classroom or away from the computer and actually "experience" what you are studying.
  • Reflect on your elementary learning experiences. It may be that you recall
    the "field trips" as much as any other learning strategies. As an adult learner you may need to craft your own "field trips."
  • If possible, you may also find it useful to do role playing to "act out" the concepts that you are studying. For example, if you are in a psychology course exploring topics related to hyperactivity, you might benefit from replicating the behavior of a hyperactive person.