How many essays do you really want to grade this school year? Not to mention, how many different types of intelligence are present in your classroom? While teaching writing is a priority, there are different ways for students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what they’ve read. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory allows teachers to access and engage every student. Here are some assessment ideas using students’ multiple intelligences to demonstrate comprehension.
To discover students’ preferred or strongest of the multiple intelligences, have students complete an MI assessment. Knowing strengths and preferred learning styles is valuable for both teachers and students. It fosters metacognition for students and aids in developing independence while teachers can tailor curriculum and assessments to help each member of the class to be successful.
Many of these projects easily allow incorporation of technology and may be altered or personalized to address different learning styles. Also, the projects listed may address multiple intelligences. I categorized each based on how I have used them in my own classroom.
Intrapersonal Intelligence Assessments
Poem: Turn a short story, novel, or film into poetry.
Letters: To real or imagined people or from character to character, students write from a character’s
Diary/Journal: Keep entries for a specific character or multiple characters.
Blog: Teachers can grade from home.
Newspaper Article: Highlight all the important who, what, when, where, and why’s of a work of literature.
Newsletter: Vocabulary, character information, and major events from the story highlighted in a 1 to 2 page newsletter for students to share with the class.
Reading List: Develop a list of related readings based on theme, character, or style.
Spatial/Artistic Intelligence Assessments
Mandala: Choose a character and highlight his/her qualities and beliefs.
Diorama: Use for setting or to create a 3-D map.
Photo essay/journal: Taking pictures and presenting them is so much fun. Let the images tell the story.
Map: If setting is important to the story, demonstrate visualization and spatial relationships
Game: (Board Game, Video Game) Make time for the whole class to play a student-generated game.
Collage: An oldie, but a goodie! Pose a question for students to answer with a collage.
Book Jacket: A little bit of writing, a little bit of art, a little bit of creativity and ta-da!
Movie Poster: Just like a book jacket, only bigger.
Cartoon/Comic: Visual lit is all the rage. Manga, classic, or Marvel, graphic literature demonstrates understanding.
Costumes: For the Project Runway -obsessed students, have them create their own fashion line for a book’s characters.
Musical Intelligence Assessments
Soundtrack: What songs bring meaning to different parts of a text?
Lyrics/Score: Write and record or perform a song.
Movie: Use images and sound with Windows Movie Maker or similar program.
Interpersonal Intelligence Assessments
Discussion: (Socratic Seminar, Socratic Chairs, Debate) Assess student learning with a discussion rubric. Watch a video to learn more about Socratic Seminars and see an example.
Teach a Lesson: The best way to really learn something is to teach it.
Interview: Students develop questions based on reading and interview an expert to learn more about a topic.
Dialogue: Give students a chance to demonstrate understanding of characters through a conversation that did not occur in the reading.
Speech/Presentation: Interpersonal learning styles love to talk. Give them something to talk about.
Tactile/Kinesthetic Intelligence Assessments
Play/Scenes: Have students turn a poem or short story into a play in writing or performance.
Invention/Product: What product or invention would solve all of a story’s problems?
Commercial/Advertisement: Sell it to the rest of the class through performance.
Public service announcement: What theme or message do students take away from reading? Address the theme by creating a PSA.
Logic/Mathematical Intelligence Assessments
Budget: Appeal to the logical/mathematical students by allowing them to create a budget for a character or characters.
Charts/graphs: Analyze text, style, vocabulary, language, patterns, etc.
Recipe: Address character traits or language by allowing students to list traits and how much of each trait is present, include a description of how the traits form a finished product.
By differentiating assessments, students will find the best way to demonstrate comprehension for the variety of multiple intelligences and learning styles in each class. Each assessment requires work from the teacher, but at least the work will be fun and develop entertaining results for the entire class to learn with and from one another. Use a rubric to grade projects or develop your own rubric using Rubistar.
Author-generated & collected notes.