Kinesthetic Learning Style

Kinesthetic Learning Style

Definition: A kinesthetic-tactile learning style requires that you manipulate or touch material to learn.  Kinesthetic-tactile techniques are used in combination with visual and/or auditory study techniques, producing multi-sensory learning.

Kinesthetic-Tactile Style

  • Like to make things with your hands
  • Remember best when you make things for your studies
  • Making something for a subject helps you understand better
  • Prefer making charts or posters for group projects to gathering the information
  • Remember spelling words better if you write them several times

Study Strategies

  • Use all the manipulative study strategies you can think of, for example:
    • Write
    • Make visuals (concept maps, time lines, charts, graphs
    • Make models
    • Use your fingers (e.g. for counting off items you are reviewing)
    • Prepare/use index cards
  • Use the movement of your body to increase attention to your study, for example:
    • Chew gum
    • Pace
    • Tap your foot or pencil
    • Study in a rocking chair
  • Look for participation activities with other students to enhance your learning


If you move your body while studying and reviewing, you will find you also need to move your body during a test to aid recall.  Keep this in mind when choosing the type of movement to use.

Confounding Factor

Attention Deficit Disorder

What if you are disorganized, distractible and have a short attention span?  You also notice you are a poor planner and get “bored” easily.  You may not be a kinesthetic learner so much as a person who needs motion to concentrate.  Consider whether you might have ADD or ADHD.  If so, there will be other things you can do to improve your attention.  Make an appointment to discuss this with Academic Support and Accessibility Services

Adapted from: Laskey, Marcia L. and Paula W. Gibson, College Study Strategies. Allyn and Bacon, Boston, 1997.