Different kids learn in different ways. The more you can combine the eight intelligences, or ways of learning in your yoga classroom, the more kids will take in.
The Eight Intelligences:
- Verbal Intelligence: Learning with words, writing, reading, talking, rhyme.
- Mathematic Intelligence: Learning with numbers, counting and problem solving.
- Visual Intelligence: Learning with images, coloring, drawing, building, creating.
- Kinesthetic Intelligence: Learning through movement, dance, touch, physical poses.
- Musical Intelligence: Learning with song, drumbeats, rhythm and sound patterns. When in doubt, sing instructions to kids. This is attention-grabbing and helps with memorizing.
- Social Intelligence: Learning by playing, sharing, communicating, cooperating, doing group or partner poses or games.
- Intrapersonal Intelligence: Learning by introspection, intuition, journaling, reading, reflecting.
- Naturalist Intelligence: Learning through nature, whether its playing outdoors, taking care of animals or pets, or reading stories about animals.
A really impactful kids yoga class will combine several of these intelligences, for maximum learningandfun. How can these intelligences show up in your classroom? Try reading yoga books together, or reading picture books in which you can act out different animal characters with yoga poses. Try holding a pose while counting, by 2s or 3s, all the way up to 20. (and then try counting in Spanish or another language, to also incorporate verbal intelligence) Sing a song to remember the Sun Salutation. Create “Asana Art” in which you are drawing a picture of your friend who is holding Warrior 1.
Write a story about the first yogis in India. Create a new group-pose for you and your friends called “Zoo Keeper,” in which you depict different zoo animals playing. The more creative the teacher and students can be together, the better! That way, no learner is left behind, since no two yogis learn in the same way.