Working with Multiple Intelligences: Naturalistic Intelligence
We are continuing on with the Multiple Intelligence Series today. Our focus will be on the Naturalistic. When I say naturalistic, I am talking about dealing with the sciences. Do not scientists have to write reports when proposing theories or a new kind of experimentation? Regardless of what field students will eventually enter, they can not by any means escape the use of language. To engage students with this kind of intelligence, here are some ideas you may want to try:
Stages of Development: Have your students explain the stages of development for either a plant or a certain animal that goes through some form of dynamic metamorphosis like a swan, butterfly, or even humans. Some of you may be thinking, “Well, what if my students do not know the stages?” Well, this would be an excellent time for you to introduce basic research into your curriculum.
Zoo trip: If you are able, take your students on a field trip to the local zoo or nature trail/center. Students can choose to focus on a particular animal or group of animals. As they focus or observe rather, their chosen animal(s), they can take note of what they see. Also encourage the student to speak with docents and other workers about the animals. As they are observing, have the students write down their questions in the L2 (second language) for the workers and then as they speak with them, they can jot down the answers. When returning to the classroom, have the students summarize what they observed either in written form or verbal form – in the target language, of course. Afterward, students will write a report based off the responses from the workers. This same exercise could be used for a trip to a local botanical garden, farmer’s market, or farm. Allow students to bring their cameras and take pictures as well.
I Wanna Rock: OK, what a cheesy title but I love that Twisted Sister tune, and I also love learning about rocks… and gems. In fact, I used to work at a gem store in downtown Memphis. Well, you may have students who have an infinity with stones. You have some options here. You can (a) bring a small collection of rocks and gems to class and let students pick out one they like. Have the student write down why they chose the particular rock. (b) You can turn this into a research project about the formation of sedimentary rocks or crystals. Option C will actually lead to the next project idea.
Mini Science fair (Option C): Students can create crystals and write an analysis of their project. They must explain the steps that they took to arrive to their finished product. Students will also verbally explain their project during a “gallery walk.” If students do not want to work with crystals or stones for their science project, they can work with plants, animals, shells, or demonstrations of natural occurrences (volcano eruptions, tsunamis, etc.).
Letter Flower: For younger students, this will be much similar to the Language Blueprint from the Artistic Intelligence post. You will have students create a plant using only text. The text used will spell out parts of the plant. Students will develop their vocabulary and spelling skills from this exercise. Text can be manipulated on the computer or students can cut out words or letters from magazines and newspapers.
The gamut of ideas is broad and there is always room for modification. Allow your natural intelligent student use their understanding of all things natural and skills of observation to aid in developing language skills. You might be surprised.