Do you remember Christmas when you were a child? You probably have vivid memories of smells, sounds, tastes, sights and maybe even the feel of some special toy or ornament. Your memories are so vivid because those special holidays incorporated all of your senses.
Your classes can be like that for your students. Whether you are teaching a Bible class or tutoring academic subjects using the Bible, it is important to involve as many of your students’ senses as possible during your lesson. Most of the activities you will find on the Teach One Reach One site were designed to involve several senses to make learning more memorable.
If you are working with other materials, you can still adapt them to include sensory learning. Here are a few tips to help you:
- Smell. We don’t think about smell much in education, but it is actually one of the most memorable senses. Look at your materials or your lesson. Is there some aspect of it that can be smelled? Maybe someone talked about flowers or ate bread. Try to re-create those smells in your class.
- Sounds. As much as I would like to help you, the sound of your voice teaching doesn’t work in this category. Think about the bleating of sheep or the hammering of nails. I found this website which offers lots of free sound effects (Please note: Websites change rapidly and I did not check every bit of content. Use your best discretion with this and any site.)
- Tastes. This is always a class favorite! Many lessons have an obvious food tie-in. The internet is full of recipes from the various cultures found in the Bible. Some your students will love and others not as much. They will remember the first time they tasted couscous or figs, though. (Please be aware of student allergies. I try to avoid anything with nuts, but ask before serving foods if anyone has any food allergies.)
- Sights. This is one every teacher probably thinks they cover really well. Unfortunately, some sights are more memorable than others. A photograph for instance is more memorable than a drawing (in general of course). A real object is more memorable than a photograph of it. Your budget may dictate what visuals you have in your class, but make sure you get the most realistic ones you can.
- Touch. Once again this is an area many classrooms forget. If you are bringing in objects, let every student touch them. Have activities that allow them to manipulate objects. Many students learn better by doing and touch is a big part of that.
I want to challenge you to incorporate all five senses of your students in your next lesson. At first, it may take extra planning time, but with practice you will begin to do it naturally. The best part is that your students will remember many of your lessons almost as much as that special childhood Christmas.