Working with Multiple Intelligences: Artistic
Good morning to all of you fine people in WordPress Land. Today, I am going to start a new series dedicated to teachers. The topic is going to deal with Multiple Intelligences.
This theory of Multiple Intelligences was first developed by Howard Gardner in the 1980s. The theory that there are various methods in which students learn. Some students may not excel in certain subjects but demonstrate high ability in a particular subject. Gardner listed eight:
- Linguistic (words/verbal)
- Artistic/Spatial (visual)
- Mathematical/Logic (using numbers and reasoning)
- Natural (science)
- Musical (songwriting, singing)
- Kinaesthetic (use of body movement)
- Interpersonal (people smart/extrovert)
- Intrapersonal (knowing self/introvert)
Other forms may have been added to this list:
- Existential (dealing with the spiritual)
- Technological (dealing with computers, electronic devices, smart technology)
Today, I am going to deal with artistic/spatial intelligence. The artistic/spatial form has struck a cord with me because I started out as an Art major before switching to Languages. Many people that I knew told me that Art had no real value unless you were in certain fields, and even in those fields, they did not have much value. However, I found the opposite to be true. When I started the preliminary course work for a graphic design program at one of the local universities in Memphis, I learned that art and language were almost one in the same – they are just different forms of expression.
There were several courses that I took that helped me to realize this. One project I remember fondly was an abstract self-portrait. Students were given a list of ten items but they could only choose five that they could use to create their “portrait.” I used a drawing of David Bowie that I did, lyrics to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince, a Korean symbol that I have kind of used as my tag; it was actually my first name in Korean; a picture of meerkats at the Memphis Zoo (I used to work there at the time) and a patch I bought while in New York. As part of the grade for this particular project, students had to verbally express the meanings behind their “portraits.”
To make a long story short, the point is that as I look back on these projects, I am finding some neat exercises that can help bolster the confidence of a student who may excel in Art class but appear to show little interest in language learning.
Without further a due, here are a list of projects you can try with your artistically/spatially intelligent students:
Storyboard: Student will still need to focus on text with assistance of basic imagery. Imagery can be very basic or detailed. Themes of the story board can include summary of a story, a five year plan, short term goals, an exercise in predicting an outcome of the story. Whoever guesses right gets a special prize.
Graffiti Wall: Students will focus on text to display importance for either vocabulary, goals, concepts they have learned, or points related to a story. Students can then verbally express the meaning behind their tag or mural.
Self Portrait: This exercise could be an alternative to the student interest surveys. Give students a list of things that you would like to know about them but instead of drawing pictures of people, have them use items to represent them. For example, one of the items you ask for can relate to a favorite sport. Student may draw, use cut outs from newspapers and magazines, or if they are technologically gifted, use the computer.
Script Analysis: I remember this project from my Computer Aided Graphic Design class. We watched the scene from A Streetcar Named Desire where Blanche is attacked by Stan (Stella’s husband). We had to pay attention to the tone of voices used in the scene. Afterward, we were given a the text to manipulate in Adobe Illustrator. Text could be enlarged, minimized, widened, shriveled, or however we wanted to represent the fight between the two characters. Now, if you are a teacher in K12 education, you may want to choose a milder film, like something from the Chronicles of Narnia series. If you do not have access to computers, allow students to draw or use cut outs from magazines and newspapers.
Book/story cover: This project could be used to assess comprehension of a story. Students can choose to create an image based on a story they have read in class. Then have students write or verbally explain what the image is and why the image would be good for a book cover.
Language blueprint: For students into construction or architecture, students can create a blueprint of either a home, a business, or school. Instead of using images,they will use text to represent all the furniture and rooms in the building.
This is just a short list of many that could ignite language learning for your artistically inclined students. Play around and see what happens.