Multiple Abilities/Intelligences

Linguistic- Word Smart

read about it, write about it, talk about it, listen to it

examples: science word games, use new science words in discussion, create a science dictionary, science writers, reporters

beginning activity: long word on the blackboard

Logical-Mathematical- Minds-on Smart

quantify it, think critically about it, conceptualize it

examples: solve problems, create problems, ask questions, discussion and debates on societal implications of science, create data tables and spreadsheets, finding analogies, working problems backwards, using science processes

beginning activity: posing a logical paradox

Visual-Spatial- Picture Smart

see it, draw it, visualize it, color it, mind-map it.

examples: make diagrams of cells, atoms, earth systems, create video presentations, mapping activities, make 3D models, flow charts, decision trees, concept maps, multi-media presentation software, draw and paint computer software.

beginning activity: unusual picture on the overhead

Bodily-Kinesthetic- Hands-on Smart

build it, act it out, touch it, get a gut feeling of it, dance it

examples: build physical models, express science concepts with bodily motion, sensory awareness activities, science probes (MBL, Science Toolkits)

beginning activity: mysterious artifact passed around the class

Musical- Rhythm and Tone Smart

sing it, rap it, listen to it

examples: find and use related songs, write and sing musical scores of science concepts, play background music in class, use natural music and sounds (birds, nature)

beginning activity: piece of music played as students come into class

Interpersonal- Cooperative Smart

teach it, collaborate on it, interact with respect to it

examples: use cooperative groups, science board games, computer games for pairs or groups, teach active listening, create a community of practice in class, networks, join discussion groups

beginning activity: "Turn to a neighbor and share..."

Intrapersonal- Reflective Smart

connect it to your personal life, make choices with regard to it

examples: journaling activities, help students write goals and objectives, portfolios, biographies, provide time for reflection, motivational speakers

beginning activity: "Close your eyes and think of a time in your life when..."

Naturalist- Ecologically Smart

sense it, feel it, experience it, relate it, think globally about it, be an activist about it

examples: sensory awareness activities, hikes and field trips into natural sites, mini-field trips outside the classroom, readings from nature magazines, nature videos, understanding, relating to and functioning in the natural world

beginning activity: "What does this leaf smell like?"



These Multiple Abilities/Intelligences were adapted from the following Books:

Armstrong, Thomas (1993) 7 Kinds of Smart, Plume Publishing

Gardner, Howard (1983) Frames of Mind, Basic Books, NY

Gardner, Howard (1993) Multiple Intelligences, Basic Books, NY

Goleman, Daniel (1995) Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books, NY

An online resource that is under development:

Multiple Intelligence



There are many tests suggested to determine the intelligences a student posesses. This is an example of one such test:

Circle the number of any of these statements that best describe you.

1. Books are very important to me.

2. I can easily compute numbers in my head.

3. I often see clear visual images when I close my eyes.

4. I engage in at least one sport or physical activity on a regular basis.

5. I have a pleasant singing voice.

6. I'm the sort of person that people come to for advice and counsel at work or in the neighborhood.

7. I regularly spend time alone meditating, reflecting, or thinking about important life questions.

8. I can hear words in my head before I read, speak or write them down.

9. Math and/or science were among my favorite subjects in school.

10. I'm sensitive to color.

11. I find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time.

12. I can tell when a musical note is off key.

13. I prefer group sports like badminton, volleyball, or softball to solo sports such as swimming or jogging.

14. I have attended counseling sessions or personal growth seminars to learn more about myself.

15. I get more out of listening to the radio or a spoken-word cassette than I do from television or films.

16. I enjoy playing games or solving brainteasers that require logical thinking.

17. I frequently use a camera or camcorder to record what I see around me.

18. I like working with my hands at concrete activities such as sewing, weaving, carving, carpentry, or model-building.

19. I frequently listen to music on radio, records, cassettes or compact discs.

20. When I have a problem, I'm more likely to seek out another person for help than attempt to work it out on my own.

21. I have opinions that set me apart from the crowd.

22. I show an aptitude for word games like Scrabble, Anagrams, or Password.

23. I like to set up little "what if" experiments (for example, What if I double the amount of water I give to my rosebush each week?)

24. I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles, mazes and other visual puzzles.

25. My best ideas often come to me when I'm out for a long walk or a jog, or when I'm engaged in some other kind of physical activity.

26. I play a musical instrument.

27. I have at least three close friends.

28. I have a special hobby or interest that I keep pretty much to myself.

29. I enjoy entertaining myself or others with tongue twisters, nonsense rhymes or puns.

30. My mind searches for patterns, regularities, or logical sequences in things.

31. I have vivid dreams at night.

32. I often like to spend my free time outdoors.

33. My life would be poorer if there were no music in it.

34. I favor social pastimes such as Monopoly or bridge over individual recreations such as video games or solitaire.

35. I have some important goals in my life that I think about on a regular basis.

36. Other people sometimes have to stop and ask me to explain the meaning of the words I use in my writing and speaking.

37. I am interested in new developments in science.

38. I can generally find my way around unfamiliar territory.

39. I frequently use hand gestures or other forms of body language when conversing with someone.

40. I sometimes catch myself walking down the street with a television jingle or other tune running through my mind.

41. I enjoy the challenge of teaching another person, or groups of people what I know how to do.

42. I have a realistic view of my strengths and weaknesses (borne out by feedback from other sources).

43. English, social studies, and history were easier for me in school that math or science.

44. I believe that almost everything has a rational explanation.

45. I like to draw or doodle.

46. I need to touch things in order to learn more about them.

47. I can easily keep time to a piece of music with a simple percussion instrument.

48. I consider myself a leader (or others have called me that).

49. I would prefer to spend a weekend alone in a cabin in the woods rather than a fancy resort with lots of people around.

50. When I drive down a freeway, I pay more attention to words written on billboards than to the scenery.

51. I sometimes think in clear, abstract, wordless, imageless concepts.

52. Geometry was easier for me than algebra in school.

53. I enjoy daredevil amusement rides or similar thrilling physical experiences.

54. I know the tunes to many different songs or musical pieces.

55. I feel comfortable in the midst of a crowd.

56. I consider myself to be strong-willed or independent minded.

57. My conversation includes frequent references to things that I've read or heard.

58. I like finding logical flaws in things that people say and do at home and work.

59. I can comfortably imagine how something might appear if it were looked down upon from directly above in a bird's eye view.

60. I would describe myself as well-coordinated.

61. If I hear a musical selection once or twice, I am usually able to sing it back fairly accurately.

62. I like to get involved in social activities connected with my work, church or community.

63. I keep a personal diary or journal to record the events of my inner life.

64. I've written something recently that I was particularly proud of or that earned me recognition from others.

65. I feel more comfortable when something has been measured, categorized, analyzed, or quantified in some way.

66. I prefer looking at reading material that is heavily illustrated.

67. I need to practice a new skill rather than simply reading about it or seeing a video that describes it.

68. I often make tapping sounds or sing little melodies while working, studying or learning something new.

69. I would rather spend my evenings at a lively social gathering than stay at home alone.

70. I am self-employed or have at least thought seriously about starting my own business.



Here is the grading scale:


1 8 15 22 29 36 43 50 57 64


2 9 16 23 30 37 44 51 58 65


3 10 17 24 31 38 45 52 59 66

Bodily Kinesthetic

4 11 18 25 32 39 46 53 60 67


5 12 19 26 33 40 47 54 61 68


6 13 20 27 34 41 48 55 62 69


7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63 70