MI in the Classrooms

Multiple Intelligences theory permeates the Preprimary classrooms.

At the preprimary level, children learn by doing, and at New City that doing involves using and developing all of a child's intelligences. Preprimary classrooms all use centers and choice time to expose students to all of the intelligences every day. 

Interpersonal: pretend, share, interact, and problem-solve

Intrapersonal: reflect and recover

Linguistic: increase phonemic awareness, read, write, and listen

Logical-Mathematical: count, sequence, pattern, classify, measure, problem-solve

Musical: compose, enjoy, sing, perform, and listen

Naturalist: observe, sort, classify, and hypothesize

Spatial: build, draw, color, paint, sculpt, and create

Bodily - Kinesthetic (gross motor)move, balance, stretch

Bodily - Kinesthetic (fine motor):  write, cut, glue, sculpt


Kindergarten students are provided multiple opportunities to learn using all eight intelligences.

Personal learning styles are encouraged through choice time and center activities where children are allowed to work at their own pace. During choice time a wide variety of materials, experiences, and activities are offered for youngsters to play and work independently, as well as cooperatively. Through play, students grow and develop socially, emotionally, academically, and physically. They learn about themselves, other children, the environment, and their world.

A multiple intelligence approach is employed to aid in the development of Linguistic and Logical-Mathematical Intelligences. The children role-play stories and practice letter and number formations using their bodies, play dough, chalk, paint, and pencils (Bodily-Kinesthetic). They sing and listen to literacy and math songs  (Musical).  Children observe and interact with nature both inside and outside of our classroom.  They use these experiences in drawing and writing activities as well as to identify patterns (Naturalist). The children study artist styles, illustrate their own stories and math problems, construct puzzles, and create tactile letters and numbers (Spatial).  Students also reflect on their work, make choices, and teach each other. They work alone, with a partner, or in a group (Intrapersonal and Interpersonal). 

The use of Multiple Intelligence enriches each day!


First grade offers students a chance to explore and understand their multiple intelligences.

In first grade, students are shaping their identity as individuals and learners, so it is important to provide them with rich opportunities to experience each ntelligence, even when that means asking a child to go beyond his/her comfort zone.

In first grade, students develop their multiple intelligences in the following ways:

  • MI  Shares
  • participating in two theatrical performances involving collaboration (Inter- and Intrapersonal), song (Musical), and dance (Bodily-Kinesthetic)
  • naturalist simulations and field trips on a regular basis
  • games, music, and movement activities in Linguistic and Logical-Mathematical centers that incorporate other intelligences 
  • group singing (Musical)

Second grade offers students a variety of ways to explore and demonstrate a genuine understanding of academic and personal skills.

Some typical ways in which second graders use their multiple intelligences are:

  • Show and Shares: individual presentations in which students select a theme unit topic and use MI to demonstrate their genuine understanding
  • Field Guides: channeling Lewis and Clark, after visiting Forest Park for naturalist observations of flora and fauna; students draft, revise, edit, and publish class non-fiction field guides
  • Pioneer Homes: students collaborate to gather natural materials, divide tasks, and construct models of homes like those of pioneers and settlers of the West

Third grade students have the opportunity to use all the intelligences through centers, projects, and field trips.

Third graders are encouraged to work out of their preferred learning styles and to explore centers independently and cooperatively. Other classroom activities such as morning meeting and the completion of reflections and surveys also allow for the development of the personal intelligences.

Although the intrapersonal intelligence is addressed all year, two favorite activities the students enjoy are the self-portrait and personal time line. Through the use of the linguistic intelligence, the children learn how the Native Americans recorded their history by creating buffalo skin stories, and create their own autobiographical “skin stories”

The naturalist intelligence gives the students a hands-on experience to learn about early Native Americans through an archeological dig. The logical-mathematical intelligence allows the students to measure and represent the buffalo and whale spatially which show genuine understanding of how Native Americans used these mammals for their survival.


In Fourth Grade, multiple intelligences are integrated throughout the curriculum.

During Living Museum, students have the choice of taking notes through the use of mind-maps, webs, or t-charts (spatial and logical-mathematical).  For those students who have a strong musical intelligence, learning a song for first nine primes, for spelling rules, or about plot development can help cement the concepts.

Other spatial choices might include painting or drawing to help when reflecting upon an experience, or creating vessels to explore individual dreams for the year.  Moving their bodies by using the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence helps students solidify learning geometry, order of operations, and parts of a letter. Developing and performing skits helps students role-play problem-solving strategies, remember vocabulary words, and enhance reading comprehension.


Fifth grade students use the multiple intelligences to acquire and enhance their understanding of content material.

Students have the opportunity to demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects, presentations, and exhibitions. The students study portraiture and music (spatial and musical) from colonial America, which helps them gain valuable information about this period.

During their study of world geography, fifth graders create a tear map of the continents (spatial) as a pre-assessment and then analyze it for mistakes at the end of the unit. The students utilize many of the intelligences during the grade-level play, which interprets the year-long theme, "We, the People", through performance, song, and dance. The students have a choice of MI-based projects through which they can demonstrate their understanding of plot development in a novel.


Sixth graders discover that the use of MI is still an important aspect of the sixth grade program.

The heavy focus on the personal intelligences in advisory groups, the use of spatial representations in literature and math, MI shares, and the autobiography are all opportunities for students to enhance their work and understanding of themselves as learners through the use of MI.