Multisensory learning is an approach to teaching and learning that engages two or more senses at one time. I am talking about: sight, sound, movement, touch, smell and taste. A multisensory approach to learning activates and connects more neurons in the learner’s brain, and as a result, students can acquire, think about, and remember information more quickly and keep it for the long term. Not to mention, multisensory learning is more engaging and fun!

So what does multisensory learning look like? If you are teaching “Apples” to younger learners, you bring real apples to the lesson and discuss their colours, shapes and sizes. Cut them open and count the seeds, or examine the parts of an apple. Then, you might make a poster about the parts of an apple, or paint an apple tree. Finally, you get the kids to taste them and use descriptive language to talk about the flavour! Whatever you are studying, find a way to combine the senses to get those neurons more activated! 

Some examples of multisensory literacy activities you can do at home are:

⭐ Have your child write or spell letters and words using their finger in a tray of sand or flour, or using playdough, finger paint, magnetic letters or mini-whiteboards.

⭐ Dramatize a story or picture book.

⭐ Hide a bunch of letters or words around the room and ask your kid to be a “detective” on a word hunt. Challenge them to see how many they find and ask them to read the letter or word back to you when they do find it.

⭐“Say, Touch, Spell” – While sounding out a word, say each sound and use something, such as a penny or a Pop It toy, to represent each sound tactilely. Then, spell the word out on a mini whiteboard, noting the number of sounds vs. letters.

⭐ Use coloured letter flashcards to blend and play with sounds in words. Build a word, sound it out, and then change the first letter and see how the word changes. Once they get the hang of that try swapping the last letter, and eventually the middle letter!  I like to use one colour for vowels and vowel teams and a second colour for consonants or consonant blends because I think it helps my language learners remember the phonics more.

⭐ Interview and present a friend.

⭐ Sing and dance to songs with content language .

I hope this will inspire you and help you practice multisensory English activities at home. Remember, learners do need explicit instruction, but they will benefit most from being actively involved!