Not all of them liked poetry though. I was able to convince a couple students who I knew hated poetry to come and try it out. Multiple intelligence theory was my basis for the activities I did in reading and writing poetry. When we read, I used the following options for the students to respond to the activities: Artistic - Create a drawing or image of what you see when reading the poem.
This could be multiple images of several lines, or just one overall image. Show the speaker's emotions through the way you move. Which lines rhyme? How do these elements, or lack there of, lend themselves to the message of the speaker? The last two activities, pantomime and finding patterns, wouldn't necessarily work with all the poems, but the first three activities were for the most part universal.
So I'd throw in the last two only when the material allowed like it would with this poem. Often this activity was done in pairs or groups. All students want to frame their work in the best possible light and learn in the way that will "stick. Over a period of years at various teaching venues, I have worked with my students on identifying the characteristics of these varied intelligences and planned with them learning strategies that will work with each. Here I want to describe how I used Gardner's ideas to teach a particular skill in a particular setting.
When I taught English at an alternative school in southern Illinois, my students came exclusively from low socioeconomic-status households. Most read at least four years below grade level and had voluntarily or involuntarily left the public schools to attend our school. Our students were between the ages of 15 and 19, and were almost 90 percent male.
Musical Intelligence Activities
Many were diagnosed with learning disabilities and some also had behavior disorders. A significant number had both. All of my students came with the emotional baggage that tends to accompany chronic and continuous school failure. I wanted to help this mixed bag of young people to be able to outline and draft a persuasive essay. Of course, the linguistic modality, with its focus on manipulation of language, is always involved in all English class tasks.
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But by involving additional activities geared to other modalities, I was able to help students not so comfortable in the linguistic mode become more at ease working in the language arts. But how were the students and I to determine which modality worked best for each of them? I'd developed a matrix of activities for each intelligence that I posted in the classroom.
They would generally have additional helpful suggestions, and they would critique my list for ideas they thought "too babyish" or generally unhelpful. I was seeking activities that would be individual enough to incorporate any students' learning goals and personal interests. Students were able to pick their own activity from the list, or develop an alternative activity, as long as it was suitably rigorous to develop the position they would need for their persuasive essay. While students were required to write an essay for themselves, during this development process, they were allowed to work in groups.
In this early stage of their persuasive piece, the students were expected to develop an "outline," though their planning did not need to be done in the typical linear Roman numeral format. My goal was to help students learn the drafting process that worked best for them so they would be better able to express their thoughts and more willing to write in and outside of class.
Here, I describe the outlining process for some of my students as they focus on the intelligence right for them. Students favoring this modality think in logical patterns.
Concept to Classroom: Tapping into Multiple Intelligences - Implementation
They organize information systematically and are probably quite organized. There is the occasional logical-mathematical learner whose locker is messy, but even then the ideas in her head are not. These learners have trouble with certain tasks in English that require nonlinear thought. Sometimes in English class we want students to summon up emotion or practice holistic skills, and these students will struggle with those assignments.
Writing poetry, creating murals, and journaling may be difficult for them. In general, they will be most comfortable and productive during grammar exercises, writing outlines, using Venn diagrams and story maps if they are spatial learners as well , and creating and solving puzzles. Specific to persuasive essays, logical-mathematical learners may have a difficult time since they often see the world more in patterns than in emotions. So while they certainly may have the easiest time creating a classic debate-formatted paper that flows logically from an outline, their presentation might seem emotionless and, therefore, less persuasive.
My favorite outline substitute for logical-mathe-matical learners is to have these students format a rough draft or outline as a series of questions and answers to flesh out both sides of the argument. Questions can be written in the order that they come into the writer's mind but then should be cut apart or written on 3" x 5" cards and put in an order that follows a logical pattern that leads through supporting ideas.
In my alternative school classes, my logical-mathematical students found structuring their rough drafts in this way helpful to creating a balanced argument. One student had chosen to write his persuasive essay on divorce and how it hurts children.
He asked, ordered, and answered a series of questions that began with knowledge seeking When divorce becomes popular, how do things change for children? These questions gave him direction for his essay and made the initial drafting process easier.
Teaching Poetry Using Multiple Intelligences
Students who are highly linguistic or who excel at reading and writing usually have an easier time in English class. They might even enjoy grammar as much as many English teachers do. They often keep journals, even when not required to, and enjoy many varieties of creative writing.
Highly linguistic students with disabilities such as dyslexia may have difficulty learning to read but still exhibit many other signs of a high linguistic intelligence. They take pleasure in word games, puns, and other types of verbal humor, easily memorizing poems or stories that have been read to them, and generally demonstrate high verbal analytic ability.
In general, these students are most comfortable and productive when we allow them to use the full range of their linguistic intelligence, both auditory and written. One of my own favorite approaches to outlining is highly linguistic. I like to think through papers by writing "outline sonnets.
But the highly linguistic students perked up and gave it a try. As with my own outline poems, the quality of the poems was not as important as the clues it gave them about how to structure their papers. Sonnets and limericks were the most popular forms, though some students created a series of couplets.
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One student created this limerick:. If I want to vote at my age And no longer live in the cage That turns adolescents Into convalescents Recovering from democratic rage. This gave him the basic premise for his side of the argument that young people who are able to vote will feel less isolated and angry. He was able to use this idea to think through, in a fun way, the support for such a position.
Highly linguistic writers may want to draft the paper rather than creating an outline of any kind. This is fine with me. I believe I need to honor their writing process. On occasion, students have created a poem outline from a rough draft as a way of condensing their thoughts. The musical modality includes a lot more than music. Students favoring this mode of learning tend to be highly distracted by sound. I myself am a musical learner. I keep my door closed when I teach, as the hall noise bothers me and makes me lose my train of thought.
When I notice a particular student becoming sidetracked by hall noise, pen clicks, or other in-class sounds, it is likely that I've identified a musical learner. These students love listening to stories, poetry, and plays aloud. They may volunteer to read sometimes, but they may also enjoy the sound of others' reading more than their own. Musical learners may have trouble writing in class, since we generally are unable to create a completely quiet classroom. Since a consistent level of sound is preferable to random noise for most musical learners, I've found it helps to play quiet, rhythmic music during independent activities, or I allow students to bring a cassette of their own music to play while they work.
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