Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guidance Lesson: Multiple Intelligences (9th - 12th grade)

What does it mean to be INTELLIGENT? 

To a student, the word intelligence usually co-exists with the concept of getting good grades, taking "hard" classes, and doing well on any sort of exam. Those who fall in this category are thought of as the smart kids- or in other words, intelligent. Conceptualizing intelligence this way consequently implies that if a student does not do well in the previously listed activities, they are either not intelligent, or not as intelligent as those who do. 

Before addressing such beliefs, take some time to consider the definition of intelligence: 

1. the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

Nowhere in this definition of intelligence is there any mention of GPA, SAT scores, or passing of state testing. While excelling in any or all of these areas is important, they do not define whether an individual has a strong presence or lack of intelligence. They may however, provide information as to what KIND of intelligence(s) a student possess. 

"Where individuals differ is in the strength of these intelligences - the so-called profile of intelligences -and in the ways in which such intelligences are invoked and combined to carry out different tasks, solve diverse problems, and progress in various domains." - Howard Gardner 

Multiple Intelligences: An Overview

Howard Gardner's theory of "Multiple Intelligences" consists of eight different types of intelligence:

  • Verbal-linguistic intelligence (word smart): using language to store, process and transmit information
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence (number smart): using patterns to think and reason logically
  • Musical intelligence (music smart): using music and rhythm to learn 
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (body smart): using the body or physical activity to learn
  • Spatial intelligence (picture smart): using visual sources to interpret information
  • Interpersonal intelligence (people smart): able to interact with others, understand them, and interpret their behavior
  • Intrapersonal intelligence (self smart): able to understand self: strengths, weakness, reactions and emotions
  • Naturalist intelligence (nature smart): able to use patterns to connect to nature                                                                              
                                        (Hayden, 2012)

For more information, see
Howard Gardner's book on
Multiple Intelligences

So, what's the BIG deal about sharing the idea of Multiple Intelligences with students?                                                                        

Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences "documents the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways." (Lane) 

The intent of a multiple intelligences guidance lesson is to help students recognize the types of intelligence they hold and to ultimately empower them by a deeper understanding of their own abilities. Attached is a lesson plan designed for 9th - 12th grade students along with the PowerPoint and worksheet that was used during the lesson. 

Guidance Lesson Helpful Hints! 

  1. Keep the pace moving! Try to explain each intelligence clearly and briefly in order to minimize talking time and maximize time for the activity. 
  2. Adding incentives throughout the lesson easily increases enthusiasm. This could include offering reinforcement for responding to questions throughout presentation or offering a prize for the winning team of the activity. 
  3. Use examples from pop-culture so that the students can connect the information to their world.
Thinking of educating students on the
Multiple Intelligences? Pinterest has an
abundance of other guidance lessons
serving a wide range of students
4. Group students randomly so that they spend time working with individuals they may not know as well to foster the development relationships with and/or understanding of others. 

5. Make sure to leave adequate time for discussion at the end. Reflection on the strengths of oneself and others can result in a powerful understanding of every individuals value and ability to contribute to the classroom. 

If you have any further comments or questions, feel free to email us at gonzagascblog@gmail.com

Lane, Carla. Gardner's multiple intelligences. The distance learning technology resource guide. Retrieved from:  http://www.tecweb.org/styles/gardner.html.

Hayden, Kellie., (2012). Gardner's Eight Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom. Retrieved from: http://www.brighthubeducation.com/teaching-methods-tips/75816-overview-of-gardners-eight-intelligences-in-the-classroom/

Images Retrieved From:
Image 1: http://www.uxbooth.com/articles/a-single-perspective-on-multiple-intelligences/ 
Images 2 and 3: http://hdthomas.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/multiple-intelligences/

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