Multiple Intelligences for Struggling Readers

Last week we talked about Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences:

  •  Verbal/Linguistic or Word Smart
  •  Logical/Mathematical or Math Smart
  •  Musical/Rhythmical or Music Smart
  •  Visual/Spatial or Art Smart
  •  Bodily/Kinesthetic or Body Smart
  •  Intrapersonal orSelf Smart
  •  Interpersonal or People Smart
  •  Naturalistic or Nature Smart

Now, the question is, how do we use these multiple intelligences to help our struggling readers?  Here are some reading activities for each of the intelligences.

Verbal/Linguistic

  • Read an alphabet book.  
  • Listen to stories on tape (follow along in the book).   
  • Make a picture dictionary. 
  • Come up with a mnemonic device for spelling tricky words (example--"oh, you lucky dog" to remember the last 4 letters in "could", "would", and "should" ).

Logical/Mathematical

  • Put words on index cards and sort according to common characteristics. 
  • Do or create a crossword puzzles.
  • Predict the ending of a story.
  • Deduce spelling rules based on examples.

Musical/Rhythmical

  • Play classical music in the background to help students focus.   
  • Sing the alphabet. 
  • Put the lesson to music (like the Schoolhouse Rock clips).
  • Play rhyming games.

Visual/Spatial

  • Paint letters or words.
  • Lindamood Bell's Visualizing and Verbalizing program.
  • Write words with "problem letters" in a different color.
  • Make letters or words out of clay.

Bodily/Kinesthetic

  • Use flashlight to write letter/word in the air.  
  • Wet, dry, try (on chalkboard)—to write letters.
  • Visualize key word for vowel.  Use first two fingers to tap out word and vowel sound.
  • Concentration game for words or letters.

Intrapersonal

  • Student helps set personal goals and evaluate performance.   
  • Teach what is relevant to the student (vocabulary, spelling words, etc.).  
  • Allow plenty of processing time.   
  • Metacognition techniques--thinking about thinking.

Interpersonal

  • Reader's Theater.   
  • Play a learning game.   
  • Read to a younger student. 
  • Teach a spelling rule to a classmate.

Naturalistic

  • Write letters/words in sand. 
  • Step outside to work.   
  • Blindfolded listening--sound discrimination--sounds, letters, words.   
  • Read National Geographic books, etc.

If you have anything else you have used with your student(s), I would love to hear it!

Misty