TASK 1 - The Basics

Using  the KWL form (either online or printed out), approximate the specific learning tasks  that you could assign to your students based on thier MI profile.

Teacher Tip: We all encourage your students to brainstorm ideas before going off to another source.  Before checking out the link below, do the same.  There are the obvious tasks such as writing assignments for students who have strong linguistic-verbal skills and artwork for students who favor visual-spatial intelligence; can you come up with more creative assignments and tasks?  How many ideas can you list?  

Compare your list with the experts here.


TASK 2: Links to Learn more about MI

The obvious benefits of MI in the classroom are that each student will be recognized and assessed according to their strongest intelligence.  In turn, students will experience a more positive and rewarding educational experience. Furthermore, using MI in the classroom also gives students and teachers the chance to work on the less strong intelligences and develop those traits in a non-threatening environment. In short, MI enables teachers to engage in authentic assessment practices because it focus' on what a student learns rather than how a student learns. This PowerPoint will provide you with an overview of MI theory and it's development.


Before you move on, remember that MI is a theory with both strong educational support and equally vehement critics.  We have presented both for you to read so that you can make an informed decision regarding implementaton, in order to help you track these differing views, it would be helpful to create a simple T-bar graph with pros on one side, and cons on the other.




This site hosts a free online course on MI in the classroom. Beyond that, teachers are can click on links to learn more about the various implications of MI.

This is a paper on the New Horizons for Learning website that details the benefits of MI in the classroom.  It is interesting and useful because it is written by Thomas Hoerr, who is the director at New City School, an MI school in St. Louis.

This PBS site offers an introduction, tips, and resources for educators.  It also very briefly outlines some of the benefits associated with MI.



It is easy to buy into MI theory because it inherently allows our students to express themselves and feel validated within the educational arean.  While that may be reason enough to try MI once or twice or just to give students a "creative" project. The benefits of MI can only be truly assessed if we listen to the critics. Below are several links that explain some of the assumptions associated with MI Theory and its application within the classroom.



Wikipedia is a good, solid site for information; however, its strength is that it is impartial. Follow this link and then click on (or scroll down to) Opposing Views.  This site discusses the traditional definition of intelligence and conversely, Gardner's definition of intelligence.

This site is a part of the Hoover Institution.  An institution that is a public policy research center associated with Leland Stanford Junior Univeristy and Stanford University. This site examines Gardner's theory through the science of psychometrics and has some very interesting points if one wants to use this theory within the classroom.



TASK 3 - Take the MI Test

Now that you know a little more about MI Theory, you need to learn your MI quotient.

Before you take the online assessment, however, it is imperative for any  teacher to first understand that MI Theory is not based on a simple “is” or “is not” assessment.  In The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach, Gardner explains it this way:

"I have posited that all human beings are capable of at least seven different ways of knowing the world--ways that I have elsewhere labeled the seven human intelligences. According to this analysis, we are all able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. where individuals differ is in the strength of these intelligences--the so-called  profile of intelligences-- and in the ways in which such intelligences are invoked and combined to carry out different tasks, solve diverse problems, and progress in various domains" (p12, 1995).

From Gardner’s explanation, we understand that MI sits on a continuum and it identifies strengths and weakness of the student.  The construction of a task or assignment can honor a students strengths or help develop and nurture the weaker intelligences. MI’s purpose is to give the student (and his or her teacher) a framework of natural talents and areas of growth.

Now it is your turn…  

 Download this paper-based MI Test to learn
your strengths and weaknesses


Take this online quiz.
(This test that will automatically calculate
your strengths and weaknesses)

Were you surprised by the results?  Were they what you expected?  Consider this fact: traditionally schools have taught mainly to the linguistic-verbal & logical-mathematical intelligences. Do you agree with this statement?  Who do you teach to?

TASK 4 - Developing a Lesson Plan

To become a little more familiar with MI lesson design, go to the following web pages to read and review some lesson and worksheet examples.

While you read, let your mind be creative with the possiblities that are available in your own lessons for the next semster.  To get you started and to give you a chance to see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms with MI
This site has a plethora of information on a range of educational issues but more importantly is has five dedicated links for MI that include lesson plans, ideas for further development, and special education and multiple intelligences.
As you read earlier, New City School in St. Louis is an MI school.  This is their website and it include lots of lesson plans generated from the teachers at the school.  It also includes email links to the teachers so that site visitors can query teachers in MI in the school and the classroom.

TASK 5-Strategies for Assessing MI Lessons

After one has been sold on the idea of MI and has begun the process of lesson planning and preparing a class for a project using this theory, the teacher comes up against the most difficult part of using MI – authentic assessment.

Some of the typical concerns are:

These are all valid concerns and at times may be the reasons why MI is not used more often in classroom assignments and projects.  Yet there are a number of ways to overcome these barriers and in fact encourage students to be come more involved in all aspects of their education.  Below are some ideas to help you get started.  They range from traditional style assessments through to more experimental styles; how you use the ideas depends upon your teaching style as well as your students’ desire to explore a broader role within the classroom and their assessment.