"The Multiple Intelligences Theory is a scientifically supported system of classifying human abilities, and suggestions about how to encourage learning in ways that respect the individual interests and strengths of children. This theory in early childhood classes usually offer a greater variety of materials and help ease children into materials which they may find threatening." Howard Gardner

Creating a classroom for every child:
Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Listed below are Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences and some ideas on how to nurture these "intelligences".

MUSICAL-the ability to produce and recognize simple songs; play with these melodies, varying speed and rhythm.

How you can nurture these abilities: Incorporate music daily. Use a tape recorder for listening, singing along, and recording songs and rhythmic and melodic instruments.

LOGICAL/MATHEMATICAL-the ability to understand the basic properties of numbers, adding or subtracting; appreciate principals of cause and effect, one-to-one correspondence; ability to predict (such as which objects will float, sink, etc.)

How you can nurture these abilities: Provide manipulatives to help children experiment with numbers; use simple machines to help children think about cause and effect.

INTERPERSONAL-the ability to understand other people and work effectively with them and to notice who plays with who at school, and why.

How you can nurture these abilities: Give children lots of opportunities to talk about one another and their social interactions, and to problem-solve conflicts together; play games in which one has to figure out the knowledge or intentions of other players.

INTRAPERSONAL-the ability to understand things about oneself, how one is similar to, different from others; remind oneself to remember to do something; know how to soothe oneself when sad.

How you can nurture these abilities: Let children express their emotions, preferences and strategies; help them understand their own wishes and fears and how best to deal with them.

BODILY/KINESTHETIC-the ability to use the body or parts of the body to solve problems, as in playing a ballgame, dancing, or making things with the hands.

How you can nurture these abilities: Provide opportunities for physical challenges throughout the day-not just outdoors.

LINGUISTIC-the ability to use language to express meaning, understanding others, tell a simple story; react appropriately to stories with different moods; learn new vocabulary or a second language that is used naturally.

How you can nurture these abilities: Make sure you provide lots of language opportunities and that children's linguistic expression is listened to and appreciated.

SPATIAL-the ability to be able to form a mental image of large (a home) and local (a block building) spatial layouts; find one's way around a new building.

How you can nurture these abilities: Provide many opportunities for mapping of the classroom and beyond; explore new spaces and encourage children to vary the arrangements of materials in the space.

NATURALIST-the ability to recognize species of plants and animals in one's environment; for example, to learn the characteristics of different birds.

How you can nurture these abilities: Play games in which children recognize fine distinctions among members of a plant or animal group; explore the outdoors regularly and bring the outdoors in; provide books, visuals, and props related to the natural world.

"It is more important to discover areas of strength and to build on them than it is to fret too much about areas of weakness." Howard Gardner

Taken from "Early Childhood Today" August/September 1995



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