Updated: Nov 13, 2020
I'll try to keep updating this list (there are plenty of examples I have missed!). I started with a really helpful list created by Joe Sherrer, a professor at New Orleans seminary, and have been adding to it. If you have additional ideas, please forward them to me so I can keep expanding this article!
Every teacher needs to know that people learn in a variety of ways. We tend to teach either (1) using the method that we learn best with, or (2) using the method we've seen demonstrated the most (which usually depends on our college program).
Here's a simplified list:
Logical—Others prefer to learn by seeing patterns and reasoning through difficult situations.
Musical—Some people learn better by listening to (or singing) a song that embodies the lesson.
Natural—Some people prefer to be outdoors and learn best through elements related to the natural world.
Physical—These learners prefer to ‘do’ their lessons. Activities that involve movement or physical contact are ideal for them.
Reflective—Some people learn best by themselves. They need to reflect/contemplate/meditate on the lesson over a period of time.
Relational—People who prefer to learn through relationships are highly social and may be ‘good talkers.’
Visual—Those who prefer to ‘see’ the lesson do very well with pictures, graphics, diagrams, charts, etc. They also like to create their own pictures as their way of modeling the lesson.
Verbal—Some people learn best by hearing the lesson and speaking it out loud. They do well with sermons, debates, and dramatic readings.
(Yes, I know that there's new research and terminology coming out all the time, but we have to start somewhere, right?)
That list is helpful, but how do we use it? If a good lesson incorporates multiple styles of learning, how do we do it? Consider these ideas (some ideas work for multiple styles):
Give a lecture
Give a quiz/test
Supply worksheets and study guides
Have a class notebook
Make outlines of the passage and lesson
Share a word study
Stage a debate
Ask inductive questions
Creative writing - as in music lyrics
Play recordings of applicable songs
Lead the group in singing
Talk about music
Find songs that reflect the passage
Invite a musician to perform
Display items from nature
Lead a nature walk
Talk about items from nature
Talk about our role in God's world
Reflect on creation
Do a project involving nature/plants
Have people write their own answers on the board
Move around in the room
Do a creative activity (drawing, sculpting)
Rearrange the room
Sing songs with motions
Offer case studies
Offers lots of questions
Give discussion questions
Ask about attitudes
Set aside time for journaling
Break into small groups
Give opportunity for personal testimonies
Watch a panel discussion
Use a dialog format
Lots of discussion and lecture
Ask for paraphrases of Scripture
Lots of out-loud reading
Scripture, song lyrics, literature
Read headlines and news stories
Read famous/catchy quotes
Share links to podcasts/listening guides
Write and share a monologue
Share video clips
Use posters and charts and maps
Use object lessons
Use visualization activities
If you don't have the supplies or materials you need to do some of these things, let me know! We want to resource you as best we can.