Reading, Writing, Arithmatic, and Dance? Using Multiple Intelligence In the Classroom

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By Melissa Lanning

Multiple Intelligences have become almost a buzz word in education today.  In our course work we studied multiple intelligences and took a quiz to see what ours were.  Knowing how you learn is important for your own learning but even more important for your student’s learning.  Why?  How does knowing how I learn make me a better teacher? Because if you can identify what motivates you it can change how you motivate others.  After reading the chapter on intelligences I watched the coffee talk and though it was one of our shorter talks it was jam packed with information.  As Dr. Perez said ” The more you can get them to use their intelligences it gives you so much more to build upon.”  I feel this is absolutely true.  The more we can tap into their interests the better foundation we can form and create concrete learning and a love for lifelong learning.

I believe that by incorporating multiple intelligences it hooks students into learning.  It also allows for us to tailor lessons to our students.  For example, I am an Auditory learner, because I know that is my strength I can write lessons that accommodate this strength for others.  But wait!  Everyone has different intelligences and not just one but multiple ones how do I bring that in?  We incorporate more than one intelligence in a lesson.  For example, if I am teaching a lesson on the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill.  I would start by having different ‘centers’ then group the kids in pairs (one boy, one girl) the first pair would go to the first ‘center’ and read ‘Jack and Jill went up the hill’ and there would be a ‘hill’ for them to go up.  At the top of the ‘hill’ there would be a pail and the students would take the rope tied to the pail and lower it to another group on the other side of the hill.  The group at the bottom would then ‘fill’ the bucket with ‘water’ (blue paper) then they would have to find a way to communicate that the bucket was ‘full’.  The group on top would then pull the bucket up and read ‘to fetch a pail of water’ and would have to define what the word fetch means.  Then they would come ‘down’ the hill and fill the bucket for the next group before going on to the tumbling mats area where they would ‘fall down’ tumble and then they would have to draw/ make their broken crowns.

This seems silly and like a game but it is indeed using multiple intelligences.  It is using kinthetic for the movement, interpersonal for the groups, auditory for the reading, visual spacial for drawing, and musical for singing the rhyme itself.  By using all of these intelligences I have not only engaged the students but made it fun solidifying the information and encouraging continued learning.

There is SO much information out there about multiple intelligences that I can’t possibly show all of them, however, I did pick a few that I thought were interesting and informative.

Here is a great quick video about how everyone is made up of several intelligences.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQHgfuziVBo I liked this one because it not only was a great video but it incorporated using multiple intelligences in teaching you the video!

Another great video is this one; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHPyuajz5ZU which shows using different intelligences to teach math.  Sorry for the potato quality of the video but it really has some awesome ideas!

Then I came across this article http://www.edutopia.org/mi-resources that had a wealth of links to ideas on how to incorporate multiple intelligence in your classroom.

Finally, http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept97/vol55/num01/Integrating-Learning-Styles-and-Multiple-Intelligences.aspx really defined multiple intelligence and broke them down for easier understanding and to help you find ways to incorporate it in our classrooms.

I personally, love incorporating multiple intelligence in my lesson plans.  When I taught art this year I wrote the final to incorporate the different intelligences.  I’ll post a copy of the lesson.  I plan on incorporating multiple intelligences into all of my lessons.  Simply because by engaging students we encourage learning and retention and besides learning should ALWAYS be fun!

art final

personal eval

peer eval

art finalpersonal evalpeer evalteacher eval

By allowing students to choose not only their medium but also the information and the way it was presented it incorporated all of the intelligences.  I also had them reflect on themselves and their peers.  It was a fun project and the kids did awesome.

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