What are the Best Multiple Intelligences Activities?

G. Wiesen

The best multiple intelligences activities typically depend a great deal on the subject being taught in a particular class and the specific lesson a teacher is presenting. In general, however, such activities seek to utilize more than one type of intelligence to better reach a larger segment of the class with a single lesson. For some subjects and lessons this may be fairly easy, while other lessons may be more difficult for a teacher to successfully include multiple intelligences. The best multiple intelligences activities are likely to be those that are interactive and involve more than students listening to a lecture.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Multiple intelligences activities are lessons that utilize the theory of multiple intelligences to effectively teach as many different types of students as possible. The idea of multiple intelligences holds that there are a number of different aspects to human intelligence, rather than simply intelligence as a single concept. The most commonly considered intelligences are linguistic, logical or mathematical, naturalistic, spatial, kinesthetic or body-related, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Multiple intelligences activities seek to utilize as many of these different intelligences as possible, to ensure that different learners all benefit from the activities.

The specific subject matter in a class typically indicates what the best multiple intelligences activities for that class may be, though there are some general guidelines that can help a teacher when considering possible activities. It is usually best to find a way to incorporate both auditory and visual learners, so instructions should be provided in writing and should be read aloud prior to an activity. Whenever possible, the multiple intelligences activities chosen for a particular lesson should also seek to utilize as many of the intelligences as possible.

For example, a science lesson about the periodic table of elements could be designed with a number of multiple intelligences activities. Since some students work well in groups, based on interpersonal intelligence, and others learn better when working alone, utilizing intrapersonal intelligence, these activities can be prepared to afford for small groups as well as students interested in working alone. Care should be taken by a teacher to ensure that the small groups and individuals are treated equally and given equal opportunities to thrive.

The groups or individuals may then be assigned part of the periodic table of elements to learn about and present to the rest of the class through various multiple intelligences activities. Each group or individual can be allowed to make a presentation that utilizes their own strengths and weaknesses, with guidance and supervision provided by the teacher. In this way, different learners are able to learn the material in a way that best suits the type of intelligence they can best access.

A group that is strongly musical, for example, might present a short song about the noble gases. While another group that consists of linguistic individuals might present a short report on various elements or create a dialog between different elements. Spatial learners could create a visual display showing how the different elements relate to each other.

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