Maestro of Multiple Intellenges

By Alyssa Dees


When a conductor stands before an orchestra and raises his baton to begin the performance of a piece, he doesn’t expect the whole orchestra to sound like a trumpet. Within the orchestra, there are many different instruments, and so it is in a classroom. I believe that a teacher has the unique task of discerning the “instruments” of their students and helping them “play their instrument.”


I am a huge fan of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. The analogy of an orchestra is a way to understand that all students contribute uniquely, learn uniquely, and together they can create beautiful music. I believe that education is guiding the discovery of unique gifts and talents and helping students use their strengths.

In my future classroom, I hope to be very intentional about incororpoating Multiple Intelligence Theory into the classroom.  I plan to be very purposeful in making notes in my lessons plans about which intelligences are used in a particular party of the lesson.  Below are some examples of how each could be incorporated in a classroom:

  • Body Smart- spelling out words with our bodies
  • People Smart- interviewing students in another classroom
  • Word Smart- writing a food word for each letter of the alphabet
  • Logic Smart- figuring out how much food the cooks need to make lunch
  • Nature Smart-  explore plants growing on your school property
  • Self Smart- daily journaling
  • Picture Smart- map routes to different places in town
  • Music Smart- create a song using spelling words

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