Coleman's expressions

Monday, January 30, 2006

Multiple Intelligences (week 4)

Multiple Intelligences
I have studied and applied Howard Gardner’s research on Multiple Intelligences for at least a decade and find it not only intriguing, but usable. When I helped to open a new high school with “state of the art technology” a number of years ago, we spent many hours writing integrated technology and interdisciplinary lesson plans, including a focus on MI. I incorporated a brief survey for 9th graders to help them understand the intelligences they tapped into and this led to other metalearning techniques and discussions. (update: this site provides a survey, though not interactive, perhaps it will be a start!
It is also an area that I include in my curriculum for teaching EME 2040 – Introduction to Educational Technology. Listed below are some paths for using MI/curriculum links for the rather broad topic, Civil Rights Movement. I hope you can relate to some of them!

Verbal/Linguistic – The History of Jim Crow website is a rich resource of many facets from which the backdrop of the civil rights movement developed. I’ve highlighted the following URL which leads to vast array of formal literature connections and applicable lesson plans. If using directly with students, one would focus into a more detailed area, but I couldn’t help but share the “big picture.”

Logical/Mathematical – Using timelines is an effective way to engage the logical intelligence. This website is a chronology of Martin Luther King, one of the leaders of the civil rights movement. The use of a multimedia, interactive flash component makes it more appealing.

Visual/Spatial – This website, Powerful Days in Black and White, is an excellent collage of photos from the civil rights movement taken by photojournalist Charles Moore.

Musical – Play the audio clip, “We Shall Overcome” for an authentic and emotional facet of the times. The song reflects not only the gospel/spiritual genre, but the determined and gentle protest inherent in the civil rights movement.

Bodily/Kinesthetic – Visiting the digital archive of Terri Shaw, a freedom worker during the civil rights movement, one links to this site depicting the program of the Free Southern Theater’s presentation of In White America (4 pages total). I would challenge students to develop their own version of the dramatic presentation to get them moving in their learning!

Interpersonal – Using cooperative learning techniques, this WebQuest requires students to play roles and interact with each other to study the question and produce the final result.

Intrapersonal – This site points students to various blogs regarding the civil rights movement and gives them a chance to reflect on their thoughts, as well as respond, if desired. I liked that there was a chance to view and reflect on both visual and verbal stimuli.

Naturalistic – This Natural Park Service website salutes one of the crowning events of the civil rights movement, the road to Selma, Alabama.

Existentialist – the big picture! I think this WebQuest helps to represent the essence of existentialist intelligence by putting some of the pieces together for students, as well as challenging them to synthesize and evaluate, using those higher level thinking skills. It also utilizes a variety of other intelligences.


  • Fantastic resources!! There are some interesting website that help folks informally figure out their MI. One I like is linked from the PD module at Do you know of any? -KD :)

    By Blogger Kara Dawson, at 1/31/2006 4:18 PM  

  • I think the resources you have provided us for the nine areas of multiple intelligence in regards to the topic of the Civil Rights Movement are great! I think it is so intriguing that a teacher can take almost any topic, and find ways to apply it to each of Gardner's intelligence areas (especially via the internet!).

    I also think it is great that you have used this method of teaching in the past when helping to open up the new high school. I am curious if the ninth grade surveys you administered gave you positive accountability/feedback, and what type of comments the students shared with you about using Gardner's MI focus. Please share if you have the information! :-)

    Once again, I think you did a wonderful job utilizing the multiple intelligence technique and applying it to the Civil Rights Movement.

    By Blogger Rachel Niskar, at 1/31/2006 4:58 PM  

  • I also wrote about Multiple Intelligences. The article was great for me to read. I needed to be reminded of all types of intelligences. Right now my students are working on constructing an “earthquake proof” structure. Students that usually do not excel at the reading and writing part of class have really come alive. These students who barely get by are now surpassing many of the others. For the first time they are feeling success in this class. They are excited and I am excited for them. I really need to make an assertive effort in providing assignments that incorporate the different multiple intelligences.


    By Blogger Jen, at 2/03/2006 9:29 AM  

  • I think I have decided to not teach math ever again! All of the other subjects seem so much more exciting. As I read your post I tried to think of ways I could incorporate some of this MI into 6th grade mathematics. You stated that had written some interdisciplinary lesson plans that focused on MI. Did you find or create many for math (the subject not the MI)? I briefly looked but didn’t have much success.

    I too would like a site where I could survey my students MI. I think this would be useful for the student as well as for me. I am having a difficult time translating how I can use MI as well as the Instructional Strategies (from the other articles) into math. However, I know that I need to address both of these ideas – difficult or not.

    By Blogger Vickie D, at 2/03/2006 9:42 AM  

  • Bravo on a great post! I can appreciate what you have researched as we have a chapter in my DCT curriculum that deals with understanding individual learning styles ("Getting to Know Yourself"). Until reading this article, followed by your post, I have struggled to make this aspect more than just a quick look. Now I feel like I have something that can add meaning to the raw knowledge that has been imparted. I might add that your civil rights links are indeed timely for Black History month and should make a great addition to the existing curriculum.

    I'm also starting to figure out how to employ some of what is available for us on the internet. As a relative neophyte, I must admit to being blissfully uninformed and a bit intimidated. Thanks to exercises like this and the sharing that is fostered, I can feel a positive metamorphosis occurring! I can certainly understand Vickie's comment about math! This "new" way of educating is certainly exciting and makes you want to mine further and deeper!

    By Blogger Jimmy Harris, at 2/05/2006 5:31 AM  

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