Every student in your class is intelligent. The trick is to finding out just how he or she is intelligent and tapping that to help your student to learn more easily and to allow him or her to add a new a dimension to your course. Howard Gardners’s Multiple Intelligence Theory defines students as intelligent in one of eight areas. By teaching to a student’s intelligences and by allowing them to express themselves using their preferred intelligences the entire classroom can be enriched. Students will explore the Multiple Intelligences theories and learn to design lesson plans that appeal to various intelligences.
Lesson 1: Getting Started
When we say someone is smart we typically mean that they have strengths in the traditional intelligences: verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical. When we see star athletes who can barely string together an intelligent sentence we usually don’t associate the word ‘smart’ with them. When we realize that some of the people who have skills we admire barely made it through school we begin to question how they got where they are.
In this lesson we will introduce you to Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and ways you can use this knowledge to better reach your students.
Lesson 2: Word and Music Smart
In this lesson we start our exploration of the multiple intelligences with word and music smart. With word smart we are dealing communicating whether it is reading, writing, listening or talking. A student who is music smart may enjoy listening to music, creating music or singing. We will explore the characteristics of each of these intelligences and how your students can use these intelligences to help themselves improve their intelligences skills in other areas as well. We will also show how these intelligences can work together or with the other intelligences.
Lesson 3: Logic and Picture Smart
In this lesson we continue our exploration of the intelligences with an introduction to logic smart and picture smart. The logic smart relates to problem-solving and picture smart relates to visualizing things. It’s interesting that in Algebra we learned to create graphs in order to solve some types of problems. How many other ways can we use one intelligence to help with another?
Lesson 4: Body and People Smart
In this lesson we will explore the kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligences. The Kinesthetic intelligence is found in actors, sports stars, ballet dancers and other performers who use their bodies to communicate or do their jobs. Unfortunately except for PE classes these students do not find many places where their smarts can help them in school. The Interpersonal intelligence is found in people who work well with others. Many teachers probably count this intelligence as one of their strongest but schools do not tend to put a lot of emphasis on learning to work with others or allowing students time to use their interpersonal skills.
Lesson 5: Self and Nature Smart
In this lesson we study the intrapersonal and naturalistic intelligences. The intrapersonal intelligence is strong in knowing about himself and feels most comfortable working alone. The naturalistic intelligence enjoys plants animals and the out of doors. The self smart kids in our class probably long for a quiet corner where they can reflect on what they have learned. The nature smart kids in our class probably long for a romp in the outdoors. But with a little bit of work on our part we may be able to provide these two intelligences a place in our classrooms where they can feel comfortable.
Lesson 6: Putting it All Together
In the last 4 lessons we have explored the 8 Multiple Intelligences and how we can use them to relate to our students. Hopefully you have found some ways to help you understand each student and how their own strengths and weaknesses can affect how they learn and how we can use that information to make it easier for them to master new skills or relate what they are learning to their own strenghts and interests. In this lesson we will look back at what we have learned and put it all together into a final project.