Gardners Multiple Intelligences Classroom Activities and Lesson Plans

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People have been applying Howard Gardner’s theory since 1984. We need to move on now and link the theory with the differentiation and blended learning we are all attempting to do when planning lessons.

Increase your knowledge of Dr. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory.
Definition of Multiple Intelligences

This theory of human intelligence, developed by psychologist Howard Gardner and known as Gardners’ Multiple Intelligences Theory, suggests there are at least seven ways that people have of perceiving and understanding the world. Gardner labels each of these ways a distinct ‘intelligence’ — in other words, a set of skills allowing individuals to find and resolve genuine problems they face.

Gardner defines an “intelligence” as a group of abilities that:

Students benefit when you use Multiple Intelligences theory.

Curriculum –Traditional schooling heavily favors the verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. Gardner suggests a more balanced curriculum that incorporates the arts, self-awareness, communication, and physical education.

Instruction — Gardner advocates instructional methods that appeal to all the intelligences, including role playing, musical performance, cooperative learning, reflection, visualization, story telling, and so on. Assessment — This theory calls for assessment methods that take into account the diversity of intelligences, as well as self-assessment tools that help students understand their intelligences. While Gardner suggests his list of intelligences may not be exhaustive, he originally identified the following seven:

Verbal-Linguistic — The ability to use words and language Logical-Mathematical — The capacity for inductive and deductive thinking and reasoning, as well as the use of numbers and the recognition of abstract patterns Visual-Spatial — The ability to visualize objects and spatial dimensions, and create internal images and pictures Body-Kinesthetic — The wisdom of the body and the ability to control physical motion Musical-Rhythmic — The ability to recognize tonal patterns and sounds, as well as a sensitivity to rhythms and beats Interpersonal — The capacity for person-to-person communications and relationships Intrapersonal — The spiritual, inner states of being, self-reflection, and awareness

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A useful book for classroom teachers and for in-service training Find out more

MI and AssessmentYour questions How do I assess my students using multiple intelligence theory?
How can I find out what my students’ multiple intelligences are?
Where can I find a multiple intelligence survey?
I am looking for multiple intelligence theory tests?
How do I prepare a multiple intelligences inventory?Find answers in these booklets
Multiple Intelligences Tests, Quizes and Assessments

Have a PDF sent to you by email or order a hard copy

……………….. …………..

MI and Lesson Planning
Your questions
How do I plan lessons so that I provide for all my students’ multiple Intelligences?
Where can I get some ideas for lessons based on MI?
Where can I find some example lessons?Find the answers in these bookletsEach subject specific example gives you:
the aim of the activity;
the learning objectives linked to different intelligences;
the context of the lesson;
the task/activity to be completed;
an assessment task.

Benefits to your students e.g. teaching visually, for those with a strong visual intelligence;
teaching through movment or making things, for those with a strong kinaesthetic intelligence;
teaching through group work, for those who have a strong interpersonal intelligence.

Multiple Intelligences and Lesson Planning Another useful booklet to have.

Buy 2 or 3 selected books
at sale price click hereBlackwell’s Bookshop, MAW Education or Incentive Plus will post these books direct to you
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The following three books are of particular interest to those of you interested in the  psychological basis of the theory of Multiple Intelligences.

‘Offers a cogent, multi-dimensional answer to the IQ testing fanatics… a real alternative to the blind empiricism of the IQ testers. How refreshing to see it justified in scholarly terms.’ Issac Asimov

‘When Frames of Mind was first published in 1984 it was acclaimed as ‘a most important contribution to cognitive psychology’. In it Howard Gardner demonstrates that there exist many human ‘intelligences’, common to all cultures – each with its own patterns of development and brain activity, and each different in kind from the others. These potentials include linguistic, musical, and logical/mathematical capacities, as well as spatial and bodily intelligences, and the ability to arrive at an emotional and mental sense of self and other people. Rather than reducing an individual’s potential to a single score on an IQ rest, it is the fostering and education of all these intelligences that should be our concern. Gardner’s controversial argument has resounding implications for the ways in which we think about intelligence and education.’ (Book cover)

The original book on Multiple Intelligences
If you are an IQ searcher – READ this first and then make up your own mind.Click Here to Order Your Copy

Click Here to Order Your Copy

‘In one volume we have surveyed the major approaches to intelligence that have evolved since the scientific study of intelligence began, a century ago.  We begin by considering conceptions of intelligence in different cultures and historical eras.  We then explore intelligence as it is usually conceived of – as a psychological and biological property of the individual. Next we present alternative concepts of intelligence.  Finally, we investigate intelligence as it plays out in broader contests, such as in the school and the workplace.’ (Preface)

This is an introductory textbook on intelligence – a good basis for further study.

‘The Harvard psychologist who revolutionized our thinking about intelligence and creativity – the award-winning author of Frames of Mind and Creating Minds – now offers a brilliant state-of-the-art report on how the landmark theory of multiple intelligences is radically changing our understanding of education and human development.’ (Book cover)

‘Wherever Howard Gardner focuses his synthesising mind and cast erudition on any topic,we can be sure that an exciting intellectual adventure is in store”
Mihaly Csikszemtmihalyi

These next two books are studies of  famous people and  how their intelligences were developed,  often from a very young age.  They are of interest to class teachers and those aspiring to leadership positions.

Learn more about the exceptional minds of people such as Mozart, Freud, Woolf and Ghandi, and apply some of what you learn to the students in your class, especially the potential leaders. The beginning and end of it are particular relevant to teachers and the motivation behind the lives of the four people are fascinating. A very good buy, which will not only help you foster strengths in the children you teach but also makes you look at what motivates you!

This book shows how different intelligences can be observed in children at a very young age. A must for teachers who want to note the particular talents of students in their classes.

‘Whilst there have been many previous studies of leadership, Howard Gardner’s is the first to concentrate on the crucial component of leadership – the human mind. …..Drawing a distinction between direct and indirect leaders – the former, politicians, military men and business gurus who seek to exercise power and influence people, and the latter, scientists, novelists, painters who do so through the creation of symbolic products – Gardner reveals the key to leadership: the ability to create a story that affects the thoughts, feeling, and actions of other individuals.’ (Book cover)

Of particular interest to teachers with leadership responsibilities.

‘The Intelligent School offers a practical resource for schools to enable them to maximize their improvement efforts. In this fully revised edition, the authors set out the most recent messages from four inter-related areas of research:School effectiveness
School improvement
Effective teaching
Effective learning
They illustrate, with practical examples, how these findings can be pieced together through the use of a combination of nine intelligences to improve teaching and learning and to strengthen a school’s capacity to achieve its goal successfully.

Some new intelligences are identified along with fresh thinking about intelligences and their dynamic relationship. Intelligent schooling in the future is also explored.’ (Book cover)    

Howard Gardner’s brilliant conception of individual competence is changing the face of education today. In the ten years since the publication of his seminal Frames of Mind, thousands of educators, parents, and researchers have explored the practical implications of Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory – the powerful notion that there are separate human capacities, ranging from musical intelligence to the intelligence involved in understanding oneself. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice brings together previously published and original work by Gardner and his colleagues at Project Zero to provide a coherent pictures of what we have learned about the educational applications of MI theory from projects in schools and formal research over the last decade. (Book cover)

“Brilliantly connecting what must happen in the classroom to what must happen in educational policy, this is important reading not just for teachers,
but for school board members, legislators, and other policy makers.”
REXFORD G. BROWN, Senior Fellow, Education Commission of the States;
author of Schools of Thought

 OUT OF PRINT but MAW Education has a few copies still in stockemail

OUT OF PRINT but MAW Education has a few copies still in stock


The next three books
are published by The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Order direct from MAW Education a distributor for ASCD

The first book shows how six schools have successfully introduced the theory of multiple intelligences into their way of teaching and the other two are of practical help in your classroom.

‘Multiple Intelligences and Student Achievement describes six schools that have used MI theory for five or more years. Through case studies of two elementary, two middle-level, and two high schools, Linda and Bruce Campbell illustrate why markedly different schools – large and small, rich and poor, inner-city and suburban – looked to MI when they wanted to boost student learning.’ (Book Cover)

‘Finally, a book about multiple intelligences (MI) theory that answers the questions that all educational innovations must ultimately address: “What are the results on student achievement?” “How were those results achieved?” ‘

The Multiple Intelligences of Reading and Writing appeals to all educators who work with reading and writing skills, from the pre-school teacher leading the class in phonemic awareness activities to the post-graduate professor helping students examine kinaesthetic imagery in Shakespeare’s plays. (Book Cover)

‘Armstrong provides hundreds of ideas, strategies, tips, and resources for teaching everything from grammar and spelling to word decoding and reading comprehension.’ (Book cover)

“Teaching and Learning through Multiple Intelligences”
Third Edition
Linda Campbell, Bruce Campbell, Dee Dickinson
Publisher – Pearson Higher Education

If you are a teacher, start with this book.

‘..and outstanding resource that offers expert analysis of Dr. Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences Theory ” – and the knowledge to extend this theory to effective classroom practice.”…. Ready to use assessment tools and lessons plans make this book a starting point and a reference guide. ….’ (Book Cover)

An excellent survey of multiple intelligences from the perspective of the educator. The book is chock full of valuable classroom exercises, resources, materials for assessment, and ideas for interdisciplinary units. It also contains a full discussion of the newly discovered naturalist intelligences, along with many timely instructional suggestions.” – Dr Howard Gardner

If you would like to order this or any other bookClick here

Combining clear explanations and practical advice, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom is an excellent guide to identifying, nurturing, and supporting the unique capabilities of every student.’ (Book Cover) ’You’ll find information on how to explore your own intelligences, introduce students to the seven intelligences, develop multiple-intelligence (MI) lessons conduct MI assessments and much more. (Book Cover)

Multiple Intelligences – New Horizons
Completely Revised and Updated
by Howard Gardner
(Basic Books 2006) This new edition of Multiple Intelligences covers all developments since its original publication in 1993, and stands as the most thorough and up-to-date account of the theory and application of Multiple Intelligences available anywhere. Completely revised throughout, it features new material on global applications and on Multiple Intelligences in the workplace, an assessment of Multiple Intelligences practice in the current conservative educational climate, new evidence about brain functioning, and much more.

Click Here to Order Your Copy

Click Here to Order Your Copy

Five Minds for the Futureby
Howard Gardner
(Harvard Business School, 2007)

Responsibility at Workby
Howard Gardner
(Jossey Bass, 2007)

Multiple Intelligences Around The Worldby
Jie-Qi Chen, Seana Moran
Howard Gardner
(Jossey Bass, 2009)

To buy books from Blackwell’s bookstore
pay through Blackwell’s shopping cart.

Reminders If you want PROOF of the success of teaching the MI way, read
‘Multiple Intelligences & Student Achievement: success stories from six schools’
Your students’ successes depend on your expectations.
“Meaningful reconstructing first takes place within the minds of teachers and their beliefs about the nature and possibilities of their students. From there, all else follows.”
(From Success Stories from Six Schools, ASCD)

‘Exceptional Minds’ Learn how famous people were motivated and how their talents were developed.

‘Leading Minds’
Discover what motivates you and your students, so that you can build on this for success.
Find similarities to your own leadership style.
Build on your own strengths and enhance your chances for promotion.

Books on the Brain, Mind and Memory Compare Brain Functions and Multiple Intelligences.Click here

GuaranteeBooks and videos listed above are from respected higher educational institutions
in the USA and UK.

Books and videos from MAW Education – order by e-mail and MAW Education will invoice you. UK cheques are accepted for all goods and should be made payable to ‘MAW Education’ and sent to MAW Education, 6 Innovation House, John Smith Drive, Oxford Business Park, Oxford OX4 2JY UK, with your order. Include your return name and address. Allow 7 to 15 days for delivery.

MAW Education newsletters and e-books are delivered on-line. The first free newsletters come as soon as you have submitted your contact information in the boxes above and verified your free subscription with GetResponse. You then receive emails and articles from MAW Education at regular intervals telling you of other free information on multiple intelligences and education in general.

ASCD publications are sent direct from MAW Education who are distributors for ASCD. UK orders take approximately 3-5 business days. US and international orders take approximately 7-15 business days.

Payment must be received before items will be shipped.

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