Only 30% of the general school aged population are auditory learners. Although it’s only 30%, it is vital we teach them in a manner they learn God’s word best. Hearing and speaking is their main method of learning. You’d think this means all you need to do as a teacher is read aloud to them and things are great. Not exactly. They are children so they need creativity in what they hear. Do this because studies show auditory learners remember up to 75% of what they hear. That’s no too shabby.
Reaching kids who learn best through auditory methods is important, especially when sharing God’s word, so how do we accomplish this most effectively? First we need to understand the auditory learner. Auditory learners learn by hearing and speaking, listening and repeating. They enjoy class and small group discussions. They enjoy listening but they really cannot wait for their chance to talk. Of course, auditory learners often give long, repetitive descriptions so be prepared. It is difficult for them to sit quietly for long periods of time, of course, this is tough for just about any kid. Bible class teachers need to get creative in the delivery.
God’s word is exciting! Unbelievable odds were overcome with God’s intervention. A young shepherd boy beat the odds against a giant. An unwilling participant overcame fear while in the belly of a fish. Together twelve undesirable men changed the world. Portray this when sharing with the children. Auditory learners respond to the high and low pitches in your voice, a soft whisper or a loud shout. Although your hands are not sounds, we often speak with our hands. Add a bit of this into the mix. Their interest is perked when you give the lesson oral textures, so get out of the box and give life through storytelling.
Auditory learners respond well to speaking so have them repeat key points you make. Better yet, have kids listen for a specific word or phrase throughout your story and when they hear it, they respond with an action. This may be shouting the word or phrase back to you, clapping three times fast, or even jumping from their seats and sitting back down quickly. This keeps them on their toes and listening. For instance, as you read the Beatitudes, have children raise their hands with joy every time you read the word “blessed.” Have fun with this. They sure will! And do not forget to ask questions as you tell a story to reinforce points. Answering back helps them retain what is taught.
Since auditory learners respond to words, the use of songs and rhymes comes in handy. Oral recitation can be fun and helpful, just try not to let it become boring and drab. If reciting a verse for instance, change up tones or speed throughout the verse to make it stand out. You might recite a verse turtle style, very slowly. Then you recite it cheetah style, super fast. Next you recite it Texas style, with accent and slapping your knee. Try angelic style. This is where they act like they are praying and sing the verse angelically. Add tough man style where kids show their muscles and use a strong man voice. Be creative with it. There are tons of ways to play this out. Auditory learners often enjoy talking to themselves so this is a great way to impress God’s word on them where it comes up time and time for them.
A good teacher’s effective teaching methods are invaluable. They may not come naturally, but can be learned and developed with practice. Take time to remember what types of learners you are teaching and teach for them. Always be enthusiastic and involve the kids as much as possible. They will learn so much from you and look forward to going to your class each week. You will become the “fun” teacher they tell their parents and friends about. What bible class teacher doesn’t want that?
Read more on characteristics of learning styles.