Multiple Intelligence and Its Application in the Classroom

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Objective
  • Multiple Intelligence
  • Verbal/ Linguistic Intelligence
    Logical/ Mathematical Intelligence
    Visual/ Spatial Intelligence
    Bodily / Kinesthetic Intelligence
    Musical / Rhythmic Intelligence
    Interpersonal Intelligence
    Intrapersonal Intelligence
    Naturalist intelligence
  • The Activity
  • Lesson Plan
  • GP (Guided Practice)
    IP (Individual Practice)
    Explanation of the Application of the Concept in the Lesson Plan
  • Potential Strength and Limitations of the Task


Intelligence could be defined as the capacity for understanding, logical thinking, self-awareness, planning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, creativity, critical thinking, and the ability to problems solving. More precisely, it could be defined as the ability to receive the information and to process it as knowledge for applying to adapt to the environment and context as behavior. “Intelligence is the ability to find and solve problems and creates products of a value of one’s own culture.”- (Mc Kenzie, 2000. p2)

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The main objective of this paper is to describe the topic of Multiple Intelligence and show its practice in the classroom. In this paper, I will discuss the main feature of the theory of multiple intelligences and for showing its uses in the classroom I will prepare a lesson plan using MI theory. Besides, I will explain how the concept will be engaged and relevant to my plan along with analyzing the potential strength and limitations. By this paper, I will draw an effective lesson plan using the concept which will be both useful for the students and me for further application.

Multiple Intelligence

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed by a Harvard University professor Dr. Howard Gardner in 1983. In his book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence” published in 1983, Gardner comes up with the thought that ‘intelligence is the set of skills that allows individuals to find and find the answer to genuine problems they face.’ He mentioned that there at least seven ways by which the individual perceives and understands the world which he named the ‘multiple intelligences’ and this intelligence gradually gets multiply rather than unified. In the theory of MI, Gardner questioned the traditional understanding of intelligence and said “People are not born with all the intelligence they will ever have in life but the intelligence could be learned and achieve through the whole life”(Gardner, 1983. p41). He characterized the intelligence:

  • A set of skills
  • Distinct from other
  • Find an answer to the genuine problems
  • A set of disposition

Gardner and McKenzie provide a new and similar definition of intelligence in the year 2000, like ‘Intelligence is the ability to solve problems and create products of values in one’s own culture” Gardner rejects the traditional way and approaches of selecting intelligence rather he set eight criteria for being intelligence. (Propper, 2000 p.1; Gardner, H. 1993 & 1999). Examine through these criteria Gardner proposed eight different bits of intelligence to be counted for a large range of human potential prominently in children and adults. The intelligence is:

  • Verbal/ Linguistic Intelligence
  • Logical/ Mathematical
  • Visual/ Spatial Intelligence
  • Bodily / Kinesthetic Intelligence
  • Musical / Rhythmic Intelligence
  • Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence
  • Naturalist intelligence

Verbal/ Linguistic Intelligence

This is intelligence which involves the ability to properly use words and language both written and spoken. According to Armstrong, 1998, the ability to read, write and communicate using words is considered linguistic intelligence. More precisely, the persons with this intelligence can take the information in words rather than pictorial and they can express themself by proper manipulation of the language. They are very skilled at listening, speaking, and writing. As well as they are good at storytelling, teaching, remembering information, and analyzing language usage. They love to read & write, enjoy playing word puzzle games and finally, we find these people as a poet, teacher, writer, journalist, politician, and lawyer, etc.

Logical/ Mathematical Intelligence

This well-acquainted intelligence involves the ability to logically thinking, recognize the pattern both in geometrical and mathematical also the ability to work with an abstract concept. Burundi in 1996 proposed that this intelligence is prominently associated with scientific and mathematical thinking. Accordingly, the person with intelligence has the aptitude for numbers and loves to solve problems, Armstrong, 1998. They are also skilled at classifying, categorizing information, solving complex mathematical and geometrical problems. This intelligence is prominent among scientists, engineers, computer programmers, researchers, mathematicians, etc.

Visual/ Spatial Intelligence

According to Popper, 2000 and Wilson, 1998- the ability to visualize the objects and spatial dimensions and create internal images and pictures is considered as visual/ spatial intelligence. The learners with this intelligence can solve the problems by creating and using mental images. This intelligence is found prominent among the navigator, visual artist, architects, sculptors, interior designer, and engineers, etc.

Bodily / Kinesthetic Intelligence

The persons who are skilled at physical balancing and active in body movement to express themself are called the persons having kinesthetic intelligence. The learners having this intelligence become super active in the class and learns better by touching, using their hands for creating or building. They are very fond of dance, sports, hands-on experiments, acts, crafts, and express emotions through the body.

Musical / Rhythmic Intelligence

Armstrong in 1998 indicates the skills like recognizing the musical tones, pitches, rhythm, melody including sounds and the passions for music as rhythmic intelligence. The singer and the composer are the best examples of this intelligence.

Interpersonal Intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence is the skills or ability which indicate a person who is good at interact with others, able to understand others, and can read out the mindset, behavior, goals, moods, motivation, and feelings of others by different settings like verbal and nonverbal communication. This intelligence allows the individual to be peer-loving and found to be more active and flexible while working in a group. The people with this intelligence become eloquent and able to motivate others easily. True examples of these types of peoples are politicians, religious leaders, teachers, social activists, salespersons, business persons, and councilors, etc.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

This intelligence is slightly different from interpersonal intelligence. While interpersonal intelligence allows the person to be friendly and peer-loving but the person with interpersonal intelligence is self-centered and feels shy of peer interaction. But these types of learners are confident and good at understanding their inner feelings, dreams, find out their strengths and weakness. They also reflect and analyze themselves, evaluate their thinking patterns, and work on finding out their roles in relationship to others. This intelligence turns a learner to be a researcher, theorist, and philosopher in the large face of life.

Naturalist intelligence

This is the last intelligence Gardner adds with his first seventh intelligence. According to Gardner, this intelligence indicates the ability to recognize and classify the plants, rocks, animals, minerals and distinguish the features of the environment. This intelligence also does matter to recognize the cultural artifacts. The learners with this intelligence love to go outdoors like field trips as the way of their learning. Charles Darwin is the best example of a person of this intelligence. This intelligence results in the learner being a farmer, gardener, botanist, geologist, archaeologist, etc.

The Activity

Structure: I will prepare a lesson plan for Grade 3. My class time will be 50 minutes and the subject will be Math (Geometrical Shapes). In my class, there are already 10 groups consist of 6-7 members in each group. I am focusing on the classroom management strategies to maintain the large classroom and to attain the 100% attention of the students. Since I will be the only facilitator, I will provide the group task and will use related materials.

Lesson Plan

Here is a lesson plan described with the concept.

Grade: 03

Subject: Mathematics (Geometry)

Objective: Students will be able to draw the geometrical shapes (Circle, Triangle, and Quadrilateral)

What: Circle- A geometrical area rounded by one line from a center is called a circle. Triangle- A geometrical area with three straight sides and three angles is called a triangle. Quadrilateral- A geometrical area with four straight sides and four angles is called a quadrilateral.

Why: Geometry is one of the important disciplines of math. The knowledge of geometrical shapes helps to solve many real-life problems. It allows identifying the shapes of the real-life objects like, the shape of the book, the shape of the glass, etc. which leads the students to explore the world, the space, and many more by building a connection with the visionary world.

How: Do an energizer for creating the learning environment and mindset. Introduce the geometrical shapes and provide the definition. Give some real-life examples of different shapes. They will work on the group for drawing and making the geometrical shapes with the poster paper. Then they will present their task in front of the class. Then they will be asked randomly to show different objects in the projector. In the end, they have to seat for an assessment called the exit ticket.

Materials: Book, whiteboard, marker, handmade materials, computer, projector. INM (Introducing New Materials)

  • Ensure 100% attention in the classroom.
  • Do en energizer
  • Show a video on the projector about the different real-life object (Ball, Box, Pyramid)
  • Ask the student about the shape of a ball.
  • Give ‘Wait Time’ for thinking.
  • Introduce today’s lesson and objectives.
  • Define the three geometrical shapes (Triangle, Quadrilateral, Circle)
  • Draw the shapes on the board and show the key function of the shapes.
  • Ask the students the name of the shape drawing and showing the shape on the board. -100% will be attentive in the class.
  • Students will follow the instruction and do accordingly.
  • Students will pay their attention to the video
  • They will think about the shape of a Ball
  • Students will pay attention, listen to the definition, and see how to draw the shapes.
  • Students will think and raise their hand for answering.

GP (Guided Practice)

  • Ensure 100% attention of the classroom;
  • Instruct group work;
  • Divide the students into 10 groups with 6 members in each group (The mixer of advance and struggling students);
  • Select a group leader in each group;
  • Provide an art paper, a scale, two markers, a scissor and a geometry box in each group;
  • Now say, ‘In your group, you will draw the; three geometrical shapes and then cut it with the scissor to make the shapes. You will get 10 minutes to do that. After finishing, you have to present your task in front of the class.;
  • Move around and assist if necessary;
  • Give appreciation to the group (positive framing) which is doing accordingly;
  • Call the group one by one;
  • Keep tracks of those groups which will do correctly and firstly. -Students will seat in groups;
  • Listen and follow the instruction of the teacher carefully;
  • Group leaders tale the materials from the teacher;
  • Group members talk and work in the group;
  • Group leaders led the activity and ensure the involvement of all the group members;
  • Ask the teacher’s help if get stuck anywhere;
  • After finishing show thumbs up and go in front of the class for presenting their task while the teacher asks;

IP (Individual Practice)

  • Write the names of the shapes on the board and tell the students to draw the shapes in their exercise book individually;
  • Move around and give appreciation to who will do correctly (precise praise);
  • Keep track of those who will draw the shapes correctly and firstly and those who can’t do properly and in a timely;
  • Tell few students to show their work in the large group;(Those who done accurately and timely)
  • Everyone will go to their seats and will be ready to answer and draw;
  • Draw individually in their exercise book within the given time ;
  • After finishing show thumbs up;
  • Show the exercise book in the large group while the teacher asked;

Peer learning: At this part, I will assign the first groups from the GP and the first 3 students from IP to teach the most struggling students those who couldn’t draw correctly or even done lastly. They will teach them individually within the given time.

Exit Ticket: Lastly, I will give them an exit ticket for tracking my objectives for that class. Show some images on the projector what has clear geometrical shapes (Book, Ball, Cloth hanger, etc.) and they will draw accordingly and submit it to me and thus I will end up the lesson.

Explanation of the Application of the Concept in the Lesson Plan

According to Gardner, the traditional teaching-learning approaches only focus on verbal and logical intelligence. The science he proposed to apply the MI in the activity of a 21st-century classroom. Keeping it in mind this lesson plan is designed to address the number of intelligence where the most prominent intelligence is visual, interpersonal, and kinesthetic along with verbal and logical intelligence. Here I will discuss the most prominent intelligence is being used in the lesson plan. The lesson is started with the visual introduction of different images of the geometrical shapes by the projector and the image also was presented in the poster paper after the group activity. This allows the students to think logically and try to relate their experiences. Thus they will try to draw and solve the problems by using the image.

Then my verbal introduction of the geometrical shapes in the INM part will address the verbal and linguistic intelligence. Also, the students will discuss in the group and present their task in a large group where they can analyze and discuss the problems by manipulating the language. That will facilitate the learners those the intelligence already have and create the space to grow to others. The most prominent task of this activity is the group task and peer learning. In this activity, the learners will get the space to share their thoughts, understanding, and share in the group. The learners with interpersonal skills will be more active in this activity and the teacher also will have an understanding of the leaner’s in this socially interactive setting which is the main feature of interpersonal intelligence.

Potential Strength and Limitations of the Task

Strength: The activity I have designed has some effective and useful strengths. Some prominent and noticeable strength is given below:

  • This lesson plan is incorporated with several activities, that will make the students active and more involved in the class.
  • This activity will be easier as they will learn through different methods.
  • It will not be monotonous for the students since there will be a visual presentation and hands-on activity.
  • This activity addresses the various intelligence of the student which completely different from the traditional teaching-learning approaches.
  • Students will take the responsibility to teach others which will be fruitful for them and create empathy for others.
  • The teacher can check expected learning objectives whether it is achieved or not by the exit ticket and from individual practice.

Limitations: No activity is beyond the criticism and limitations. If the limitations could identify earlier, the chance for the betterment of the activity would be visible. So I think this lesson plan needs to take under criticism and the findings are as follows:

  • There is always a chance of chaos and mismanagement while dealing with the kids and perform the different activities with them. This class size is huge with about 70-75 students and 10 groups. There is a chance to create chaos and mismanagement;
  • Group task would be time-consuming and it will very difficult to check the task of the individual task;
  • The students could struggle during the presentation of their group task since they can feel shy and not be eloquent enough and this could break the concentration of others;
  • This activity could no address all the intelligence of MI theory like Naturalist, intrapersonal intelligence. That might make them bore or unfruitful the lesson for those who have these intelligence prominently;
  • The students might not be very good at teaching others or be flexible to be taught from the peers;
  • It also could be difficult to keep track of all of their activity.

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