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Four Challenging Technology Projects for the Multiple Intelligences

written by: skline • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 9/28/2015

Incorporating technology into the curriculum is not always easy. As a matter of fact, teaching to the multiple intelligences is not always easy either. By combining the two, your classroom will be transformed into a learning zone, where your students will take ownership of their learning. Try these!

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    Introduction

    Challenge Your Students As a middle school teacher, I strive to come up with curricula that will yield the highest results. When legislators passed the No Child Left Behind Act, those results increased in importance. Even with NCLB fading in the sunset there is still a huge focus on its concepts.

    I have found that incorporating technology into the curriculum is one of the best ways to ensure learning occurs in the classroom. Because of my research and training on adapting curriculum to include children of all intelligences, I am confident in saying that I can effectively use technology to teach the wide array of students in my classroom. These four lessons will give you the same confidence and yield results. An added bonus is that they can be adapted for all content areas and all grade levels.

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    Vocabulary Art

    When teaching vocabulary words, you have many different choices. It seems that I've tried millions! What works? Well, you can try teaching vocabulary by incorporating art and technology. It works, I promise! For this lesson, you will need to have no more than 10 words and access to computers.

    Directions:

    1.Pass out a list of vocabulary words and ask your students to define them. You can either use www.dictionary.com or regular dictionaries.

    2.After defining the words, have your students get on the computer and open up a new PowerPoint slideshow.

    3.Write on the board or pass out directions stating the students will write the word using WordArt and can use any of the available choices.

    4.Then, they need to find a picture on the Internet that represents that vocabulary word. Once finding the picture, they need to save it to their desktop or in a folder that is easily accessible. Do not insert the picture into the PowerPoint presentation yet.

    5.Once selecting the ClipArt picture, tell them to right click their mouse and click on FILL EFFECTS. An icon is available in the tool bar, if that is easier.

    6.After they click on FILL EFFECTS, they need to click on PICTURE.

    7.Browse until they find the picture they saved in step 4. Click on it, and it should appear as the fill for the vocabulary word.

    8.Resize as needed.

    9.Have the students write the definition of the vocabulary word at the bottom of the slide. Repeat with the remaining words on the next slides.

    10.If time allows, have the students present their PowerPoints to the class.

    How It Appeals to the Multiple Intelligences

    This activity appeals to linguistic and spatial learners primarily because it deals with words and provides a visual for learning the definitions. It also appeals to logical-mathematical learners because it allows them to work with technology and shapes. Musical learners are closely tied to logical-mathematical learners and will appreciate this type of activity as well. Allow them to put music to their slideshow, and be sure to play music in the background, if appropriate, to make it even more appealing to this type of learner. Kinesthetic learners will appreciate that it is a hands-on activity. To make it appeal to interpersonal and intrapersonal learners, allow the option of working by oneself or with a partner or group. To add a tie-in for the naturalist, provide words that deal with an aspect of nature and allow for scenic or animal pictures.

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    Shape Poetry

    This idea comes from the Tammy Worcester books, which I highly recommend. Did you know you can use poetry in any classroom, Tammy Worcester Books not just an English Language Arts or Reading class? Well, you can! And, you can even make it fun for your students. In this activity, your students will create a poem using WordArt in Microsoft Word. Bear in mind that the poem can be on any topic currently being taught. If your kids are learning about Abraham Lincoln, they can create a poem shaped like a tall hat or a man. If they are learning about a specific part of speech, they can create a poem in the shape of an example of that part of speech. Or, if your students are learning about classifying animals in the animal kingdom, they can create a poem in the shape of an animal. Please note that the poem should deal with the object being represented.

    Directions:

    1. Begin by opening up a MS Word document.
    2. Students will use WordArt to create their poem in a specific shape.
    3. Have them write the poem over an assigned topic on paper first.
    4. When inserting WordArt, be sure to tell them that if their shape is not something simple like a cat, they will need to break their poem up by lines and insert multiple WordArt.
    5. After shaping their poems, they can add details by using the SHAPE tool or hand drawing them.

    How It Appeals to the Multiple Intelligences

    This is a great activity for spatial, linguistic, and logical-mathematical learners, since it deals with word poems, visualization, and shapes. Kinesthetic learners will also like that it is hands-on, allowing them to create something. Intrapersonal learners will like that it is something they can do by themselves; whereas interpersonal learners would like the option to share their poems with the class. The naturalist learner would love a topic that has some aspect of nature involved. For the musical learner, allow them to put their poem to music, so they create not only a shape poem but also a rap or song. Extra credit could be awarded for embellishing the project.

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    Inspiration

    Inspiration offers a free trial download for thirty days. Give this lesson a try and see if your school and would benefit from purchasing the software. I know my school certainly has! My students love Inspiration because it allows them to create a map, diagram, or outline and add to it by changing the shapes, colors, fonts, etc. They take pride and ownership when they are able to create things that center on something being taught in class. The following is an example of a Black History Month activity I do with my English Language Arts students. However, it can be adapted for other subjects and various topics.

    1.Begin by having your students think of a famous or well-known African American that they would like to learn more about. I always tell them they can research actors, actresses, politicians, rappers or musicians, or sports stars. If they come up with someone in a different category, that’s fine, too.

    2.Once the students come up with their person, have them brainstorm some things they would like to know about that person. They should write those ideas down on paper.

    3.Allow them to go to the computers and go to Black History Month. In the search bar, they need to type in the name of their person.

    4.Have them read that person’s bio and write down 10 or more facts about that person. I stress the word facts, as opinions contribute little to this activity.

    5.Then, they open up a new Inspiration document, click on diagram, and start their bubble map.

    6.Remind the students that in order to create the bubble map, they must click on the center bubble then CREATE in order to link the bubbles properly. They need to do this every time they are adding a bubble. They should end up with the same number of bubbles as they have facts.

    7.In the center bubble, erase MAIN IDEA and put the name of the person that was researched.

    8.In each of the outer bubbles, they type a fact.

    9.If time allows, let the students play around with the program, changing the shapes of the bubbles, adding art, changing the fonts, etc.

    10.Print off their maps, and you have a project worthy of assessment. Plus, your students likely had a lot of fun while learning about their person.

    How It Appeals to the Multiple Intelligences

    Since this activity is intended to be carried out individually, it appeals to the intrapersonal learner. Add in the option or requirement of sharing their creation with the class to make it appeal to interpersonal learners. It provides a visual for the spatial learners, reading for the linguistic learner, and geometry for the logical-mathematical learner. For the naturalist, you can choose an assignment over an aspect of nature or guide them in selecting a person such as a scientist. It appeals to the musical learner if they are allowed the option of researching a famous musician, rapper, or singer. And, the bodily-kinesthetic learner will like doing something that allows for movement, such as typing.

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    Brochure in Publisher

    I offer this activity as an option for my sixth graders while we are reading a novel. They create a brochure that advertises the setting of the story, using facts and descriptions from the story itself. Bear in mind that the same lesson can be done for social studies, science, and math, only with a few tweaks. For instance, in math, they might create a brochure that explains how to reduce fractions. In science, they can create a brochure on a specific animal, procedure, lab rules, or region. Follow these steps to have your students create a brochure on an assigned topic. This is the one I use for my reading classes.

    1. Precede this activity by discussing the setting of the novel. Remind the students that setting is the time and place where the story takes place.

    2. Have your students brainstorm things mentioned in the novel that tell something about the setting. Since they already know the time and place, they should look for descriptions, attractions, and people that relate to the setting. For instance, if you are reading The Cay by Theodore Taylor, your students will look for specific facts about Willemstad or the cay, where the majority of the story happens.

    3. Once they have at least 10-12 facts, they can get on a computer and open up a Publisher document.

    4. Select BROCHURES and choose the layout they want.

    5. Input their information into the brochure and add pictures from ClipArt or the Internet that are appropriate.

    6.Print and fold the brochure.

    How It Appeals to the Multiple Intelligences

    This activity is typically done in groups of 2-3 students, making it appeal to interpersonal learners; but, it can be done individually, making it appeal to intrapersonal learners, too. I would recommend giving the students the choice. It provides a visual for the spatial learner, deals with words and research for the linguistic learner, and is hands-on for the bodily-kinesthetic learner. It’s positively perfect for the naturalist, as it deals with locations and features of a specific place. Since it is a layout, it appeals to the logical-mathematical learner. An element of music can be added by having students further research music that might come from that particular area and integrate it into their brochure as an added feature.

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    Final Thoughts

    Adapting curriculum for the multiple intelligences is an absolute necessity, as we are required to teach all children, regardless of how they learn. Incorporating technology has also become somewhat of a necessity, since kids learn so differently today than way back when. The four lessons discussed in this article will prove beneficial to your students and ensure learning occurs in your classroom. What teacher doesn’t want that?! Try these mini-projects and see how much your students enjoy them.