Learning Styles Lesson

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Heidi Ramirez Title: “Learning Styles”

Class:  This lesson will be used in EAP340-Low Intermediate Composition.  In EAP 340, students develop the ability to use writing-related technology and plan, write, revise, and edit sentences and paragraphs at the low-intermediate level.   Credit does not apply toward any associate degree.

Class Format: Face-to-Face; 1½ hours

Student Learning Objectives: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify their learning style preference.
  • Apply learning strategies that will increase college success.
  • Select an appropriate pre-writing technique.
  • Write the first draft of a paragraph.

Lesson Introduction: In this lesson, students will be introduced to four learning styles: visual, auditory, read/write and kinesthetic. As students walk into the classroom, The Piano Guys video will be playing in the background.  Students will be asked to watch the video and pretend as if they were at the beach.  At the end of the video, students will be given a post-it note.  Ask students to write the first word or phrase that comes to their mind in relation to the video clip they have just seen. For example, possible student responses could be “waves crashing”, “sand in between my toes”, or “family vacation”.

Video: The Piano Guys

Five pieces of chart paper will be posted throughout different areas of the room. The chart paper will have the following headings:  Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, Kinesthetic, and Other.   Students will be asked to refer back to their post-it note words and phrases.  They will then place each post-it note onto one of the corresponding chart papers.  For example, the “waves crashing” post-it note could go on the chart paper with the “Auditory” heading.  The “sand in between my toes” post-it could go on chart paper with the “Kinesthetic” heading. Words or phrases that can’t be placed into a specific category, such as “family vacation” could be placed on the “Other” chart.

Next, explain the following scenario to students: You are at the beach.  You are reading your favorite book (read/write or visual), listening to music (auditory), or playing beach volleyball (kinesthetic). It is getting really hot, so you decide to go for a swim.  You feel a little bit hesitant to enter the water, since this is the first time that you have ever swam in the ocean.  First, you get your toes wet.  Then, you keep walking until you are knee-deep in the water.  Finally, you are shoulder-deep in the water.  You enjoy the waves as they brush against your body.  You close your eyes.  You truly want to enjoy this moment.  You take a deep breath.  You smell the salt-water.  You also smell something fishy.  Of course, it’s going to smell fishy, since you are in the ocean.  You notice that the fishy smell is becoming stronger and stronger.  You open your eyes.  You look into the crystal clear water.  You can see your shiny and brightly colored swimsuit reflecting in the water.  Above the water’s surface, you see what appears to be the fin of a SHARK.  You know it’s not a shark, because you specifically chose to visit a beach that is not known for shark encounters.  The object is swimming closer and closer to you.  Now you can tell that it is a shark.  You are overwhelmed with a sense of panic.  What is your first reaction upon seeing the shark as it begins to swim toward you?

  1. Do you look around to visualize the quickest and most direct escape path back to shore? (Visual)
  2. Do you start yelling “SHARK, SHARK” so everyone will be warned of the impending danger? (Auditory)
  3. Do you think about your Facebook status update you will compose as soon as you are safely back to the shore? (Read/Write)
  4. Do you start swimming as fast as you can toward the shore, gathering others as you go? (Kinesthetic)

Students will walk to the posted chart that best describes how they would react in this shark scenario.  For purposes of the activity, students must choose between visual, auditory, read/write, or kinesthetic.  In other words, the “other” chart is not an option. Students will return to their seats and read “The Styles of Learning” infographic.  

Infographic:  The Styles of Learning

Students will be given approximately seven to ten minutes to read the infographic.  After students have read the information, they will do a think-pair-share to summarize what they have learned.

Video:  This learning styles video shows three of the four learning styles.  It could be shared during the class or included in the Blackboard learning space.

In-Class Smart Device Assignment: Students will be given time to discover their learning style by taking the VARK interactive survey.  If students do not have a smart device, the instructor will give them a paper copy of the same survey.   After taking the VARK Questionnaire, students will be grouped according to their learning styles.  Students can work individually, with a partner, or in a group of three.  If working with a partner or group of three, every member of the group must have the same learning style.  Students will use their smart devices to search for pre-writing techniques that complement their learning styles.  For example, an auditory group could use discussion/oral brainstorming as a pre-writing strategy.  They could later compile their ideas using recording and editing software.  Visual or read/write groups could use mind mapping.  Once students have compiled a list of pre-writing techniques, students will be given the writing prompt. Students will be encouraged to use one of the pre-writing techniques that they have found while doing their internet searches.

Writing Prompt:  According to the VARK Questionnaire, identify your preferred learning style.  Describe the characteristics of this learning style.  How could knowing your learning style help you to become a better college student?  Illustrate. Students will be given the remaining class time to draft their paragraph.  The instructor will walk around the room and help students as needed. Homework: Students will continue writing the first draft of their learning styles paragraph.  In Blackboard, they will find supporting links that provide more information about paragraph writing and learning styles.

CAT/Formative Assessment: Students will respond to the following question:  How can the information you learned today about learning styles be applied to your life outside of college (work life, personal life)?  Explain.

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