Learning Activity 4 I am unique

Students create their own personal profile of intelligence using 8 types of intelligence identified by Professor Howard Gardner.

Step 1: Brainstorm

When you hear the word ‘intelligence’ what words come to mind? What are the different ways that someone can be intelligent?

Teacher's note

Some students may make a link between intelligence and academic ability. Others may identify intelligence in domains such as music, the arts, sport, social skills. personal skills.

Howard Gardner, a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, identified 8 different types of intelligence:

  •  visual/spatial
  •  linguistic
  •  logic/mathematical
  •  bodily/kinesthetic
  •  interpersonal
  •  intrapersonal and naturalistic.

We all possess a combination of these different types of intelligence. They can grow and develop as we get older.

Step 2: My unique profile of intelligence

Distribute the Worksheet – My unique profile of intelligence and invite the students to complete it.

Ask the students to reflect on what they consider to be their top 3 intelligences. Remind the students that being strong in a certain area does not mean that they are the best at it, or that they do not have to work at it.

Ask the students to divide into pairs, and invite them to share their responses to the questionnaire. Bring the class back together and go through each intelligence.

Ask the students who identify with each intelligence. Get them to share what helped them become strong in that particular intelligence and to give examples of how they use it.

Download my unique intelligence worksheet.

This worksheet can help you to identify ways in which you are intelligent. The statements are not exhaustive. If you would like a more in-depth description of multiple intelligence, there is a lot of information on this topic online. Read each statement carefully. Tick the box that best describes your response to the statement.

5 = strongly agree

4 = agree

3 = neither agree nor disagree

2 = disagree

1 = strongly disagree

Teacher's note

Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, found that we can develop our intelligence over time, with practice and effort, if we adopt a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is a belief that talent and intelligence are innate and cannot

It is important to gently challenge ‘fixed mindset’ statements, such as ‘I’m just no good at or I’d never be able to.

The following Growth mindset video may be helpful in informing the discussion.

Discussion points

  •  What was it like to see your own intelligence profile and to hear about others?
  •  Think about one area where you scored highly, what helped you - for example, practice, hard work, a good teacher or coach.
  •  For areas where you score less highly, could the same thing apply - could you have intelligences that you don’t know about yet because you have not had the opportunity to find out more about them, or because you have not practised much?
  •  What might it be like to try out something new
  •  Why is it important to continue to develop areas of intelligence that you are already good at?

Step 3: Home activity

Everyone has a different intelligence profile. Over the next week, try to notice what intelligences your family and friends have. You may recognise obvious ones, but see if you can identify others and record them in your SPHE copy or journal.

You may also like to privately pick an intelligence that was mid-way down your list and see if you can work on it.