How Hands-On Activities Help Students Learn

One of the most popular teaching methods in elementary schools around the nation is to have students read material and write about it. While this can be an effective method of teaching for many different age groups, student engagement goes up when a more hands-on approach is used in the classroom.

What is hands-on learning?

Hands-on learning is a style of learning that physically engages the students in the material. It allows the students to “learn by doing” and draw conclusions from trial and error.

“Hands on, brains on” is the best way to teach students

Students are more likely to perform better in the real world when they are exposed to real-life problem solving. Building with Legos, conducting age-appropriate science experiments, and taking field trips are great hands-on approaches that allow your students to use multiple learning processes and activate parts of their brain that would otherwise go unused.

Students who are taught using hands-on teaching methods outperform those who are not. Students should be learning through experiencing the material, rather than being lectured.

Learning vs. lecturing in the classroom

When you’re working with younger children, giving a lecture isn’t an option. Children have too much energy to sit still and give their full, undivided attention. Creating a hands-on learning environment that engages children will result in better comprehension, reduced failure rates, and better retention of the information later on in life. For example, your students can draw or work with crafts while you read a book to them.

Imagine trying to teach your students how to ride a bike by lecturing them. Sounds impractical, right? You can apply the same theory in the classroom: It is infinitely easier to provide an example for your students and allow them to learn by doing.

Hands-on learning teaches that failure is OK

Failure is a crucial part of the hands-on learning process. When children fail during an activity, they begin to exercise many avenues of thought to troubleshoot the issue and form a solution.

For example, when a child answers a question on a test incorrectly, or misses a question when called on during a lecture, often they are not prompted to fix their error on the spot and are instructed to further read and understand the material. With a hands-on approach, the child finds out sooner that they were incorrect and can work around the problem on their own.

Calvary Lutheran School has your child’s cognitive development and happiness in mind. We focus on nurturing children academically, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially. Contact us at 816-595-4020 or schedule a tour to learn more about our academic program.