Multiple Intelligences

The concept of multiple intelligences relies on the idea that people learn differently, and that as teachers, we should be catering to this variety of ways students learn by varying the way we teach. Below are six different strategies for activities in the classroom:

1. Visual Discovery: Visual discovery is a teaching strategy that allows students to engage with images and give them the opportunity to critically analyze the context in which the media is produced. Students are given the chance to act as investigators and are provided with images to inspect that represent key concepts of the lesson (Bower 2010).

2. Social Studies Skill Builder: Social studies skill builders turn the traditional, rote tasks usually associated with skill-based worksheets into more dynamic, interpretative activities. Students work in pairs on fast-paced, skill-oriented tasks such as mapping, graphing, identifying perspectives, and interpreting political cartoons to develop skills necessary for understanding social studies (Bower 2010).

3. Experiential Exercise: Experiential exercises "tap into students' interpersonal and body-kinesthetic intelligences, allowing students to 'experience' key social studies concepts first hand" (Bower 2010, p. 46). Experiential exercises allow students to experience a key historical event through a game or activity that mirrors the historical event.

4. Writing for Understanding: Writing for understanding includes the following: writing challenges students to clarify, organize, and express what they have learned; writing requires students to analyze and synthesize; writing enables students to reach deeper understanding as they draw on previous learning for supporting details; ownership of written products motivates students to excel; and the writing process compels students to refine their ideas (Bower 2010).

5. Response Group: Response groups are intended to focus on controversial issues, events, or topics that spark in-depth and lively small group and whole-class discussions. Teachers strategically plan out the various steps of the Response Group so that students are put into heterogenous groups, given thought-provoking materials, and given time to think critically about a particular issue, event, or topic before discussing as a class (Bower 2010).

6. Problem Solving Group Work: Problem solving group work projects are a great way to allow students to explore open-ended questions and topics. They allow students to use multiple abilities and to take on different roles in order to divide the workload evenly. Students work in groups with specific, different roles within that group (Bower 2010).

Bower. (2010). Bring learning alive! Methods to transform middle and high school social studies instruction. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers' Curriculum Institute.