Classroom Activities for Multiple Intelligences

Karen Frazier
Musical Classroom

Different children learn differently, which is why you need classroom activities for multiple intelligences. Students who don't learn traditionally may be left behind by regular classwork. By engaging students in multiple intelligence activities that teach to each of the eight different types of intelligences, you will be able to help all of your students succeed.

Eight Multiple Intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences posits that children have differing levels of eight different types of intelligence. Every child has at least one intelligence that is the strongest, and teaching to those strengths can help students to be more successful. The eight multiple intelligences include the following:

  1. Verbal/linguistic
  2. Math/logical
  3. Spatial
  4. Musical
  5. Body/motion/kinesthetic
  6. Interpersonal
  7. Intrapersonal
  8. Naturalistic

Ideas for Classroom Activities for Multiple Intelligences

You can learn which type of intelligence a child has by testing, and then design classroom activities for multiple intelligences that play to each child's strength. Using multiple intelligence stations, or breaking children up into smaller groups according to their intelligence strengths, can help assure that each child is participating in activities that will help him learn.

Verbal/Linguistic Activities

Students with high verbal/linguistic intelligence are often well-spoken, and they write well. The following classroom activities favor this type of intelligence:

  • Storytelling and narration
  • Writing stories
  • Create a television or radio newscast
  • Create a newspaper
  • Have a debate
  • Play vocabulary games
  • Create advertising materials for a made up business

Math/Logical Activities

Students who have math/logical intelligence are logical thinkers who enjoy solving puzzles. Classroom activities that work well with this type of intelligence include the following:

  • Solving mysteries using deductive reasoning
  • Predicting outcomes based on circumstances
  • Solving number or logic puzzles
  • Doing financial planning for an imaginary business

Spatial Activities

Students with high spatial intelligence often think in pictures. They do well with art activities and spatial puzzles. Classroom activities to highlight spatial intelligence include the following:

  • Art activities such as painting and play dough
  • Working with play money
  • Map reading and map making
  • Play a Pictionary-style game
  • Diagram sentences

Musical Activities

Children with high musical intelligence learn well through rhythm. They often enjoy musical activities. Classroom activities for musical intelligence include the following:

  • Write and recite poetry
  • Perform dance routines to act out historical or literary events
  • Create songs or raps about math concepts
  • Perform sound and vibration experiments in science

Kinesthetic Activities

Kinesthetic learners love motion. They are often very physical children and sometimes gifted athletes. Activities for kinesthetic learners include the following:

  • Dramatic re-enactments of historical or literary events
  • Using different body parts to measure objects
  • Use charades to act out parts of speech
  • Learn folk dances that represent different cultures
  • Design and build an architectural model out of materials like Popsicle sticks or toothpicks

Interpersonal Intelligence Activities

Interpersonal learners are those children who work well cooperatively and thrive on building friendships and relationships. Activities to teach interpersonal learners include the following:

  • Working in small groups on a project
  • Mentoring or teaching concepts to another student
  • Conducting interviews
  • Role playing historical or literary situations
  • Team building exercises

Intrapersonal Activities

Intrapersonal learners are those who are very aware of their own motivations. They often have a high level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Intrapersonal classroom activities include the following:

  • Keeping a journal
  • Writing an autobiography
  • Working independently
  • Writing essays about which historical or literary figures they would want to be
  • Rewrite a story from their point of view
  • Share how they'd be different if they were from another culture

Naturalist Activities

Naturalists are nature lovers who often have an excellent understanding of, or interest in earth sciences. Activities for naturalist learners include the following:

  • Categorizing species in the natural world
  • Collecting items from nature
  • Going on nature walks
  • Orienteering
  • Math story problems featuring plants or animals
  • Cultivating plants or caring for small animals

These are just a few of the many activities you can do in your classroom to accommodate the different learning styles associated with multiple intelligences. For more ideas, visit one of the following websites:

Classroom Activities for Multiple Intelligences