What is a Multi-Sensory Approach & Why You Should be Using It

What is a Multi-Sensory Approach & Why you Should be Using It

First, let’s define Multi-sensory.  Merriam-Webster defines Multi-Sensory as “…relating to or involving several physiological senses.” Understanding the value of a Multi-Sensory approach to learning is easy:  It’s simply the art of engaging the auditory, visual & kinesthetic pathways when learning.  This way, new information sent to the brain using these three different pathways for learning sticks and is set for building new information upon.

Research says that about 90% of our students would need up to 1500 repetitions to truly assimilate the subject matter.

 I’m going to step up on a soapbox for a moment:


These days, the education culture is pushing our kids to read way before their brains are ready and those are the students who make up the “90%” I mentioned above.  However, there are some students who are born reading!

Parents fall prey to this “culture mind-set” or should I say dogma of making kids read early and when the kids can’t keep up; they are left with the feeling that there is something wrong with them.  A feeling of inferiority sets in with some thinking they are not as smart as their classmates.

This is what drives my passion for the learning different student.  I am committed to balancing the odds between the fast adapting 10% and the 90% who are not getting the right education techniques to help them “keep up” through Multi-Sensory teaching.

Ok, I am stepping down from the soapbox, now…dropping the mic…


So, understanding the value of Multi-Sensory teaching should be a no-brainer, however; I find that more often than not, I have to prove this method of teaching to teachers & parents…at least I feel like I have to.  And because time and again, I’ve had to talk with teachers and parents alike, on the importance of a subject I think should be common knowledge, I sought to figure out why this is and I think I have.

Incorporating a Multi-Sensory approach within daily teaching is not for the faint of heart, so to speak… Remember the 1500 repetitions?  There are not very many people willing to go over the same subject matter more than twice and here we are talking 1500 times.

Well, the students who stand to benefit from Multi-Sensory teaching, the student who’s basic knowledge and understanding of spelling, reading and writing depends on the Multi-Sensory approach needs those repetitions.  Some may need more, some less.  But, repetition is the key.  The fast pace of the classroom information and the education culture mindset does not have time for many repetitions.  This leaves up to 90% of our students with growing gaps in their academic development.

In an effort to help these student, I have created a series of activities – kinesthetic, auditory and visual activities designed for repetition in order to build on other activities with the sole purpose of building a solid foundation in phonemic awareness – which leads to becoming a great speller, reader and writer.

I had earlier discussed about the “Exploring the Alphabet” on this blog.

Let's Explore the Alphabet

That blog post is stuffed full of Multi-Sensory activities for building Alphabet knowledge, the puzzle pieces to spelling, word building, writing, etc…you get the idea  🙂

Rhyme Production is another important developmental level of the six levels of Phonemic Awareness:

*Word Awareness

*Rhyme Awareness

*Rhyme Production

*Syllable Awareness

*Phoneme Awareness

*Phoneme Manipulation

One particular activity in Rhyme Time


is a great hands-on activity that reaches all the avenues of Multi-Sensory learning.

It is called “Blooming Rhymes”.

Here’s how to effectively engage your students in this activity:

Students choose a Rhyme-O-Gram for each flower they create.  I printed the flowers out on bright colored paper.


Next, students brainstorm words that rhyme with the Rhyme-O-Gram they chose and write the words on the petals.

This can be done in small co-operative groups, whole groups or one on one.  You will be able to assess how well your student(s) know how to rhyme.  This can also be a great opportunity to review the phoneme manipulation skill from Exploring the Alphabet & Word Building 


Finally students cut out and glue together the flower, stem and leaves.  Before long, we have a Blooming Rhymes flower garden growing in our classroom!




There are indoor and outdoor activities you can do with your student(s) that I have included in detail within the set.

Some of the fun outdoor activities included require sidewalk chalk!

I happened to find a GREAT deal on some sidewalk chalk in the Target Dollar Spot during the summer months & I even found some fun Spray Chalk, too!  I’m sure sidewalk chalk can be found in any dollar store and at Target throughout the whole year.

I am confident that the “Building Great Spellers & Readers” Bundle would be fun and enriching for your students or child as they grow in their spelling and reading skills.

If you take pictures in your school or home-classroom , please tag me on social media using the hashtag, #phonicslab

if you have any questions, comments or concerns please email me at


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Have an amazing week!