Multiple Intelligence (Circular Curriculum) For Any Short Story

**note: students must know something about multiple intelligences, including their own.


4 and higher


Poster paper; at least one class period of 90 minutes.

PROVIDE FOR INCLUSION – A You Question, Energizer, or Linking Strategy

Ask students to share (in partners, groups, or full group) ways to communicate understanding of a story without writing a summary.


Content Standard: Any reading comprehension or literary analysis

Collaborative: Reflect on experience, think constructively

Personal: Develop personal strengths, explore challenges


Circular Curriculum (from the Artistry for Learning)

After you finish the story, invite students, working in tribes or individually, to make a poster that employs some or all of the “multiple ways of knowing”. These examples are NOT how the concept is taught; they are demonstrations of learning, on the students’ part.

At first, this is best done in small groups, where students collectively produce a poster that represents all intelligences. Require that students work on at least three different intelligences; they may work in pairs within the group. Be sure to have students sign their names to the appropriate parts (intelligences) represented on the poster. After students have success both with the group effort, and with exploring and developing multiple intelligences, use the circular curriculum for individual works (utilizing three or more intelligences).

Here is an example of demonstrations of understanding, based on the multiple intelligences (also the student handout):

Logical/Mathematical: Develop a timeline (plotline) for the story, including time elapsed between each entry. There should be at least ten entries, and at least two sentences for each entry.

Linguistic/Verbal: Write a letter to the author explaining what you liked and/or disliked about the story. Include at least three details about the setting, and analyze at least one character. Your letter will need to be three paragraphs.

Musical/Rhythmic: Develop a poem or rap that retells events (at least ten) in the story, in order.

Visual/Spatial: Develop a new cover for the story, as if it were a book. The cover must illustrate either events or characters from the story. A brief written explanation is optional.

Body/Kinesthetic: Choose a sport and retell the story in sports terms…baseball – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, home….basketball – back and forth, struggles, scores… You can write, or tell (sportscast).

Naturalist: Categorize elements of the story so that someone unfamiliar with the story would be inclined to read it. Example: “Three Little Pigs” categories could be materials, characters, key words, evil qualities, civil
rights…and there would be words from the story in each category). OR describe the ecological elements of the story.

Interpersonal: Create a fan club for the story; include why and how to join, possible events to honor elements of the story, and/or products to sell to encourage awareness of the story.

Intrapersonal: Imagine you are one of the characters in the story. Write at least five journal or personal diary entries that would easily identify that chosen character.

There are many more ideas in your Tribes book, pages 148-150 (169-171 Discovering Gifts)


Content: How did you choose your “intelligence” entries…based on your strengths, or based on your challenges? How was this demonstration of understanding more or less demanding than the traditional or usual summary or book report?

Collaborative: What did you enjoy about being able to work with someone else on any part of this project? How did you handle any disagreement?

Personal: Why is it important to recognize multiple intelligences? How can this influence you…in anything in life?


If the final result is a group poster, then use the strategy “Gallery Walk” and invite statements of appreciation.


You can have students develop a rubric (they will need some experience here) and grade their own work (really helps if they view each others work first). Eventually, students can actually make up the specific “intelligence” suggestions and develop their own responses. (I actually got to the point where I could say “Give me three examples, using three different multiple intelligences, that demonstrates your knowledge of_____.”)


  • Group Development Process (Influence – Meaningful Participation)
  • Cognitive Theory
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Constructivism
  • Reflective Practice
  • Authentic Assessment

Download the Handout