Help Students Learn With These Multi-Sensory Activities

Do you have students who have limited experiences to draw from when they are learning something new? Most of my students don't have the needed background knowledge to easily learn new material. Here are 2 ways we made concepts in the polar unit come to life for my kiddos.

These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.


Most of my students have been exposed to many different animals over the years. What they don't understand is how those animals compare to them. To help give them a better sense of comparison, we made polar bear paw prints and placed our foot print on top of them. For this part, students had to request the needed materials to assemble the polar bear paw while talking about and labeling the parts of the paw (toes, claws, etc.). We got to sneak in some extra math as they counted out the toes and claws. Finally, students predicted who would have the bigger foot- the polar bear or the students. Guess what.... none of them thought their foot would be smaller!

These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.

Once students had finished assembling their paws, they had to take off their socks and shoes and get their foot painted. 

These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.

They were shocked to see that the polar bear foot was bigger than theirs!

These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.


The other activity we did to build background knowledge was to mock up ice fishing. We talked about how you would get through the ice, how cold it would be staying out there waiting for fish to bite, etc. Then we went "fishing" for math facts. 

These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.

Some of them had a really hard time maneuvering the pole to get a fish and bring it up through the hole. We worked on using two hands together to make the pole more steady and straight. It was harder than I expected!!

These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.

Once they got their fish out, they had to write the problem on the white board and figure out the answer. These fish are a freebie over at Marsh McGuire's TPT store. There are addition and subtraction fish, so the students had to decide which type of problem it was and write it in the correct column.


These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.

They had a ball and when it was over, they had practiced a lot of math! Win!!

These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.

To make these activities more manageable, we split the class in half so there was a small group at each activity. It worked really well. Students were able to get multiple turns and hands on opportunities and we were able to have more staff at the polar bear table. I would definitely recommend extra hands when you paint the bottoms of their feet!!

Get more materials and ideas for your polar unit by clicking the picture. It includes TONS of visuals and leveled activities to help all of our students learn. 




These multi-sensory learning activities help give students the needed background knowledge to better understand polar unit concepts.


No comments

Back to Top