Reflection Activities for Diverse Learning Styles

In any group there will be a variety of preferences for how people learn, so it is best to do a variety of reflection activities to appeal to different learning styles. The three basic learning styles are:

  • Visual Learners prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. They are comfortable learning through reading and writing and some may need to write thoughts out in order to process them. Displays, handouts, or written instructions can also be helpful for visual learners.
  • Auditory or Aural Learners prefer using sound and music. They prefer verbal communication and some may find it helpful to read aloud to themselves or talk through their thoughts before writing. It is helpful to explain an activity aloud for this type of learner, even if they are given written instructions.
  • Kinaesthetic or Tactile Learners prefer using their bodies, hands, and sense of touch. Activities that involve a hands-on or physical component such as sculpting, drawing, or role-playing will engage this type of learner best. Some may find it difficult to sit for long periods of time or remain focused in activities that only involve reading or writing.

It is also important to be aware of volunteers with learning disabilities. For example, a reflection activity which only involves writing may be very uncomfortable for someone who has trouble reading or is dyslexic. It is helpful to give a second option in addition to writing, such as drawing, talking, or silently reflecting.

The following sections provide examples of reflection activities that are written, verbal, and creative. Verbal activities will appeal more to auditory learners, written activities will appeal to visual learners, and creative activities will appeal to the various learning styles. Activities can be tailored to fit the group’s personality or time and space constraints. As a facilitator, try to stretch outside your own comfort zone. Reflecting using these various modes surfaces new insights that may surprise you and the group!