Did you know that there are EIGHT different ways that your students can demonstrate their intelligence?? Think back to your college days and upper level education classes (That’s WAY back for me….Over a decade!) and you might remember an important educational figure named Howard Gardner. Ring any bells? Howard Gardner is the face behind the theory of Multiple Intelligences.
We begin by playing one of my favorite games on our Interactive Whiteboard called “The Warm Wind Blows.” Both younger and older students LOVE this game! Basically, you arrange chairs in a circle with one less chair than your number of students. You call out a category (in this case, characteristics of a multiple intelligence), and if that category applies to you, you get up and try to move to another empty chair. If you are the one student “left” in the middle of the circle, you get to call out the next category. This is a great way for me to get a feel for their interests in a more social setting.
Then, we follow up with a more formal Multiple Intelligences questionnaire that was designed for elementary students. There are many versions of quizzes that are similar to this. This one is a free download from Scholastic at the link below!
My fabulous teammate, Kristi, teaches Grades 3-5 GT, and her students create incredible Multiple Intelligences “wheels” to show their distributions of strengths. I mean, how incredible are these?!
Unfortunately, only a few of the 8 Multiple Intelligences are utilized on a daily basis in the typical elementary classroom, such as Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart), Logical-Mathematical (Logic Smart), and Intrapersonal (Self Smart). Specialty classes and extra times of the day such as lunch and recess are geared specifically to Kinesthetic (Body Smart), Intrapersonal (People Smart), Spatial (Art/Picture Smart) and Musical (Music Smart). What’s hard about this concept is that many children who might be considered “gifted” in one of the eight multiple intelligences very often slip through the cracks, most likely because they aren’t given ample opportunities to manifest that intelligence.
I almost forgot!! I also have these AMAZING Multiple Intelligences Choice Boards from “Chalk One Up for the Teacher” that my kids refer to all the time! Perfect for early finishers in the regular ed classroom as well.