Multiple Intelligences Learning Activities

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

Multiple intelligences refers to the eight areas of intelligence identified by Dr. Howard Gardner. Students will be able to participate in different activities that target many of these different intelligences.

Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. He identified eight different potential intelligences present within all students. The following activities have been developed to specifically target five of these eight intelligences and can be used and/or adapted for use with a variety of different ages.

Developing a Secret Code

MI addressed: Logical/mathematical (numbers and reasoning)

Materials: writing paper, pencils

  • Put students into groups of 2-3.
  • Give each group a piece of writing paper and a pencil to work with.
  • Instruct each group to write out the alphabet on their piece of paper and then create a secret code for their alphabet. To do so, each group will assign each letter of the alphabet a math equation (for example: A will be 15 X 8).
  • Next, have each group compose a secret message using their code. This time, however, have them use the answers to their math equations as the letter in their message.
  • Have the groups exchange their secret messages and their secret codes and let another group work out the problems to discover what the message might be.

For older learners, consider switching the steps with numbers representing each letter of the alphabet and equations being used to create the secret message. The possibilities for different equations would be endless.

Game Center

MI addressed: Verbal/linguistic (words and language)

Materials: various word related board games (Scrabble, Upwords, Boggle, Balderdash, Scattergories, etc.)

  • Set up centers around the room where students can go to play various word related board games.
  • Put students into groups of 3-4 and assign each group to a center (or allow them to choose where they'd like to go).
  • Set a timer and let students play their games for the amount of time allowed.
  • Repeat the process on multiple days to provide a chance for each group to experience playing different games.

For younger students, consider making this a whole group activity to begin with so that they can become experienced with the rules of each game.


MI addressed: Bodily/kinesthetic (physical movement, gross and fine motor skills)

Materials: various pieces of paper with words or concepts written on them (to be acted out in a game of charades)

  • Put students into groups of 2-3.
  • Choose one group to go first and let them choose a piece of paper with a word or concept written on it.
  • Allow the group time to confer (privately) as to how they might act out that word or concept.
  • Bring the group forward and let them begin.
  • Students in the class must raise their hands to guess and the teacher will call on therm (to keep it fair).
  • The student who guesses what the group is acting out gets to have their group go next.
  • Repeat until all groups have had a chance to participate.

For older students, consider using content related concepts such as events studied in history or ideas studied in science.

Map it Out

MI addressed: Visual/spatial (spatial awareness)

Materials: several road maps of the United States, writing paper and pencils, blank maps of the United States

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