Promoting Multiple Intelligences

About a month or more ago, I ran across some posts on the theory of multiple intellegences by Howard Gardner and how this affects learning in children. And I found a great game that you can see at the bottom of this post.

Gardner proposed 8 different types of learning intellegence. An article you can find online defines these as:

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: Knowing about how to move or use the body to solve problems. Children who are strong in this type of intelligence may need to use their body to learn more effectively. They typically have outstanding physical coordination and would prefer to participate than observe. They are tactile learners—and find it difficult to resist touching.
Linguistic intelligence: Using words and language to accomplish goals. Children who are strong in this type of intelligence learn best when they are able to talk about what they are doing and converse with other children and adults. Typically, linguistic intelligence is rewarded in school; linguistic learners usually excel in traditional education.
Logical-mathematical intelligence: Having the ability to recognize patterns and to approach problems logically. Children with strong logical-mathematical intelligence like to explore numbers and math functions and tend to analyze tasks and projects. They are precise and methodical and typically demonstrate skills in counting, adding, subtracting, and sequencing.
Spatial intelligence: Knowing about how objects and patterns fit into space. Children with strong spatial intelligence can often form mental models and manipulate objects to fit the model. They are able to visualize objects and create representative drawings. They think in pictures and images.
Musical intelligence: Being sensitive to nonverbal sounds, patterns, and noises in the environment. Children with strong musical intelligence can recognize musical tones, pitches, and rhythms, and frequently excel in performing, composing, and appreciating musical patterns. They are likely to remember songs and melodies and often turn sounds and words into music.
Naturalist intelligence: Knowing about nature and the environment. Children who are strong in this type of intelligence are typically fascinated by nature, including plants, insects, animals, or weather. They are often able to classify species and show understanding of natural phenomena.
Interpersonal intelligence: Knowing about how to relate to people and understanding the motivations, intentions, and desires of other people. Children who are strong in interpersonal intelligence enjoy interacting with peers and adults. They frequently have well-developed social skills and are able to take leadership roles with peers.
Intrapersonal intelligence: Knowing about the self and appreciating one’s own fears, motivations, and feelings. Children who have strong intrapersonal intelligence are easily able to recognize, understand, and express their emotions and desires. They are frequently loners and sometimes have imaginary companions.

In some quick searches I found a few things I think are very interesting that you can use at home:

1) “The Fruit Game” – in this article the author explains a game you can play with your toddler that will promote multiple intellegences. This is a Q&A game and requires absolutely no materials or special equipment. And you can play this one anywhere…the car, the house, outside, while you are taking a walk, etc.

The first step is to describe a fruit to your child  and see if your child can identify what you are describing…and it goes on from there with several more steps about this peice of fruit. I will tell you I tried this one on Petra, she was quite confused at what I was asking her. I think with more practice she will understand that this is a game and will really enjoy it. I’m looking forward to playing it some more with her, especially because she loves to talk.

2) You may also be interested in an article on “Bringing multiple intellegences outdoors” by by Laura McFarland and Meena Adhikary. They provide some very specific activities of things you can do outside with young children to develop multiple intellegences.

3) If you have a young child (but older than a toddler), you may be interested in Roger Hampton’s MI webpage and lesson plan page that provides a large number of resources dedicated to this topic, including tests and lesson plans.


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