Multiple Intelligences and Classroom Activities


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Intelligence was thought of as an unchanged cognitive capacity people are born with and was traditionally measured using the popular I.Q. and WISC multiple short answer tests that they do not measure deep understanding (WNET, n.d.). I actually think that some of the questions that I got in these exams when I was a kid were measuring memorization skills and the ability to do well on short answer tests.

Dr. Howard Gardner with his revolutionary theory changed this rigid idea when he defined intelligence to be the ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture (WNET, n.d.). In MI, there eight types of intelligences that reflect diversity, musical/rhythmic, visual/spatial, verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. later two more were suggested existential and moral intelligences.

There are many critics to MI theory such as it isn’t a well defined theory and impractical, some researchers believe that kinesthetic and musical abilities are talents rather than intelligences, others criticized it for being cultural based in the first place explaining  that intelligence tend to occur in unfamiliar environments . But the theory proved to be successful, as educator’s understanding of  MI drove them to create authentic activities that represent students’ strengths equally which in turn increased student’s engagement and motivation (Edutopia, 2016, July 20).

Here are some examples of activities or assignments that matches each type of eight intelligences.

  • Verbal/Linguistic: Journals, plays and essays can fit well as verbal students enjoy creative writing.
  • Logical/ Mathematical: Students can given logic problems, puzzles and games
  • Bodily /kinesthetic: As students having this type of intelligence prefer hands on experience, educators can get them involved to build models or any other demonstration related to their learning.
  • Spatial/Visual: Maps, charts, videos, presentation are appropriate means for students to represent their work with .
  • Interpersonal: These type of students learn best in discussions and debates.
  • Intrapersonal: Have students think of personal goals , strengths and point of improvements in relation to the subject matter
  • Musical: Students can work to compose new songs or identify different musical instruments
  • Naturalist: Ask students to keep environmental journals and to share their observations.




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