Thursday, October 2, 2014

Guidance Lesson: Multiple Intelligences

Recognizing Students’ “Smarts”

There is no single way in which students learn. Each student has unique strengths and learning styles which have been termed multiple intelligences (Will you link your post here). Teaching students to understand their best multiple intelligences can help them in several ways. First, helping students understand their multiple intelligences can help teachers understand the ways in which they need to teach. When teachers use various ways of teaching to address the various multiple intelligences, students with all different learning styles will be able to understand the material. Also, students can use their knowledge of their intelligences to understand their strengths and work to learn and study through methods that match their multiple intelligences. In addition, understanding multiple intelligences can boost students’ self-esteem. Students can realize that just because “Johnny” understands the material that was taught and they do not, they are not any less smart. They can understand that each student is unique in their smarts and learns in different ways. Finally, teaching students about multiple intelligences can help those students develop their strengths and be aware of areas where they would like to improve.

This lesson covers the following ASCA National Standards:

            A:A1.1 Articulate feelings of competence and confidence as learners.

            A:A1.3 Take pride in work and achievement.

A:A2.4 Apply knowledge and learning styles to positively influence school performance.

What you will need:
- “Smarts” PowerPoint- Attached
- ABC I Like Me by Nancy Carlson (Another book that highlights differences would also work.)
- Mind Map and Reflection Sheet
- Crayons—red, light blue, dark blue, yellow, green, purple, orange, pink
- Glue Sticks
- Beads- red, light blue, yellow, green, purple, orange, pink, letters
- String for bracelets


1.      The students will learn about multiple intelligences and their traits.

2.      The students will identify their best “smarts”, least favorite “smart”, and a “smart” they want to improve.

Introduction Presentation

Introduce the multiple intelligences (“smarts”) to students through a PowerPoint. A link to the PowerPoint created for this particular lesson is available below.


Have students color their “smarts” and glue them on their mind maps.

Have students glue their best smarts on the bigger parts of the brain and their least favorite smarts on the smaller parts of the brain. Have students fill in the blanks on the mind map reflection sheet and share their answers in small groups.


Next, give students beads and string to make bracelets. Have students make a bracelet with their initials and colored beads that match their best smarts.


Book and Discussion

Read ABC I Like Me by Nancy Carlson (or other book). With each letter, discuss what “smart” was represented.


“Think of all of your different smarts.” Discuss with students that each of us is unique and has different smarts. Explain that each student has ways of learning that makes them special. We can use these “smarts” to learn in different ways at school.

This lesson can be used at the early elementary level or adapted to teach later elementary students. It is a fun way for students to get to know themselves and their strengths and also to find areas of growth.

Helpful Hints

1. This lesson takes about 60 minutes or can be split up into 2, 30 minute lessons.

2. You can typically find a cheap set of beads with all of the correct colors and with letters at Jo-Ann’s, Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Use a 50% off one item coupon from their app to save even more!

3. Read the book while the students make their bracelets or while they are coloring if you need to save time.

ABC I like me! (n.d.). Retrieved from

Beaman, E. (2011, August 14). Theory of multiple intelligences and studying. Retrieved from

Guenzler, A. (2012, September 7). Multiple intelligences celebration! Retrieved from

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