How to Utilize Kinesthetic Activities in an ESL Classroom

Written by christen robinson
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How to Utilize Kinesthetic Activities in an ESL Classroom
Active learning is particularly beneficial for ESL students. (active child image by Sergej Razvodovskij from

Students learn in a variety of ways. Kinesthetic learners enjoy active, hands-on activities that get their bodies moving. All English as a Second Language (ESL) students, regardless of learning type, are shown to experience success with kinesthetic learning activities. Try simple but effective movement games to reinforce learning with your ESL students.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Create a list of vocabulary words that your students can act out. Verbs are obvious, but many nouns can be acted out as well. Lead a game of charades using the vocabulary list.

  2. 2

    Modify the game of Memory. Write words or desired concepts on large pieces of paper. Make duplicates for each concept. Spread the papers out on the floor face down. Students will need to move around the room to flip over the pieces and make matches.

  3. 3

    Create a "feely bag" to develop descriptive language skills. Fill a paper bag with different items. Ask students to describe the items as they feel them in the bag without looking.

  4. 4

    Ask students to create models to demonstrate learning. Building models will allow students to exhibit their understanding in a hands-on, active manner.

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