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Key principles
Three types of implementation exercises
Learning centers
Step-by-step M.I. lesson plan guide
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Three types of implementation exercises

The following three types of classroom teaching strategies have their own complex structures and variations, yet they are all conducive to tapping into the multiple intelligences of your students. Learning Centers offer the teacher and student a variety pack of projects and ideas. Simulations are powerful models of teaching because they teach students how to master concepts and learn to be effective in pursuing goals. And finally, with presentations, the student must not only understand what is being presented, but to whom it's being presented, and apply different presentation strategies.

Learning centers

Learning Center Illustration Learning Centers, also called "Learning Stations", are situations around the classroom that a teacher sets up for students to work in either small group or individual activities. Each of these centers has supplies and materials that work well together and give students the tools to complete activities and mini-projects -- either in groups of two to three students or individually.

How can you nurture student understanding of the topic by setting up learning centers? What types of learning centers are appropriate? Classroom size, students' interests, and grade level will help you determine your decision.

NOTE: Although learning centers are typically found more often in elementary and middle school classrooms, this technique has been found to be effective with high school students as well.


Some great learning centers you may want to consider:

book(for encouraging students' Verbal/Linguistic; Visual/Spatial; Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Intelligences)

  • Fiction and non-fiction books on a variety of topics, in many genres
  • Illustrated books
  • Books on tape with related book in hard copy
  • Books, articles, and papers written by students
  • Cushions for quiet reading or for group discussion
  • Word games (Boggle, Wheel of Fortune, Scrabble, Password)
  • Creative writing tools (variety of pens, paper, etc.); tape recorder; magazines that can be cut up for images; story starter books and cards
  • Yellow pages; other address resource books
  • List of addresses and phone numbers of relevant organizations
  • Computer with color printer: concept mapping software, word processor, e-mail and Internet connection
  • Multimedia presentation tools (e.g. HyperStudio, PowerPoint etc.)

pen-brush(for encouraging students' Visual/Spatial; Intrapersonal Intelligences)

  • Canvas or dropcloth
  • Painting (acrylics, watercolors, poster paints, finger paints) and drawing materials (pens, pencils, colored chalk)
  • Easel, bulletin board, chalk board, drawing boards or tables
  • Flat file storage
  • Props for still lifes
  • Variety of clip-on flood lights, flashlight, colored gels
  • Cameras (35mm, disposable, digital)
  • Computer with color printer and scanner: e-mail and Internet connection

Beaker(for encouraging students' Logical/Mathematical, Naturalist, Visual/Spatial Intelligences)

  • Field guides and science resource books
  • Popular science magazines
  • Biographies of scientists and inventors
  • Exploration and experimentation tools
  • Magnifying glass, microscope, telescope, or binoculars
  • Megaphones, cones and microphones
  • Measurement devices (rulers, graduated cylinders, etc.)
  • Bug jars and boxes, plastic containers for collecting specimens (botanical, entomological, geological, etc.)
  • Teacher-written index card challenges "What happens if you..." (students make predictions, then conduct experiments)
  • Computer with color printer: probe-ware, robotics, spreadsheets, and timeliners. Science-based software such as The Voyage of the Mimi (Sunburst), The Great Space Rescue (Tom Snyder Software) and reference CD-ROMs

Harp(for encouraging students' Musical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal Intelligences)

  • Mat on the floor
  • Cassette or CD player with headphones (optional: jack so that two students can listen to same music at the same time)
  • instruments from a variety of multicultural backgrounds
  • Books about famous composers and musicians
  • Books of poems and stories that students can set to music
  • Books of collected lyrics
  • Computer with microphone, speakers, and earphones plus MIDI connector and keyboard: music composition software, CD-ROMs designed for music study, CDs for incorporating sound into multimedia presentations

Polidesic(for encouraging students' Logical/Mathematical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal Intelligences)

  • Puzzles and games that involve logical thinking (looking for patterns, sequences, process of elimination, inference, etc.)
  • Arithmetic and graphing calculators with instructions on how to solve common types of problems (e.g. percentages, averages, etc.)
  • Maps, charts, timelines, Web sites -- vivid examples of how math and logical thinking can relate to social studies, science and language arts
  • "Math manipulatives," such as unifix cubes, pattern blocks, cuisinaire rods, and geoboards
  • Computer with color printer and links to download data from graphing calculators, spreadsheet, graphing, and 2 - and 3-D geometry programs

scissors(for encouraging students' Visual/Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Logical/Mathematical Intelligences)

  • Materials for attaching things to other things (glue, staplers, sewing materials, nails and screws, pins, clips, etc.)
  • Wood, metal, Styrofoam, recycled containers, bottles, cardboard, and tools to work with them
  • Various types and colors of paper and cardboard (for creating a homemade board game, etc.)
  • Variety of writing implements (markers, crayons)
  • Variety of fabric scraps
  • Modeling clay
  • Large rolls of mural paper for scenery backdrops for performances
  • Computer with color printer: developmental level design software (younger students use Car Builder; middle school might use Roller Coaster Builder; older students need CAD-CAM (computer assisted design-computer assisted manufacturing) software and Internet connection

spotlight(for encouraging students' Visual/Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal)

  • Wigs, costumes, shoes
  • Washable makeup
  • Masks
  • Props
  • Cassette or CD-player for background music
  • Stage area


Simulation Activitioes Illustration Simulation Activities help develop students' intelligences by allowing them to experiment with real-world activities

Such activities obviously have practical value. Before boarding an airplane, for example, wouldn't you feel more comfortable knowing that the pilot had successfully completed many "simulation exercises" on the ground?

In the younger grades, the line between play and work is often blurred. In order to master a new concept or behavior, a child will often "play" with it. In the older grades, too often teachers forget how effective play can be as an educative tool. Rather than hearing about how to do a behavior, students will learn how to do it with greater understanding if that behavior is learned via experience. Simulation activities can give students a "safety net" while they are learning.


To supplement classroom work, consider using some of these simulation activities:

Eye Role-Playing - To understand the various sides of an event (whether presented in literature, or in a history class), it is often useful to let students research the issue from a particular viewpoint, then be put in an imaginary situation where they must speak from that point-of-view. Another form of role-playing is allowing a student the opportunity to "become" a person from history and present a short lecture to other students, then answer any questions they have.

mallet Debating - Debates and panel discussions encourage students to think of topics in complex ways. Encourage students to create visual aids to support their arguments (lists, charts, illustrations, etc.). In mock-trials students play out an imaginary case and decide if a fictional defendant is innocent or guilty.

Software Simulation Software - Popular CD-ROM programs such as SimCity present complex, open-ended problem-solving situations that students frequently have to use many of their intelligences to solve. GenScope provides an interactive environment where chromosomes, genes, and observable traits can be manipulated and viewed in a variety of ways. Virtus WalkThrough and similar programs present environments for people to experience.


Presentation Illustration Presentations are most commonly thought of as speaking in public with the hope that the audience will come out of the presentation room having learned something new. But the benefit to the audience is only part of the picture.

To perform a successful presentation the student must understand the subject matter, the psychology of the planned audience, different presentation strategies, and how to organize the information in the most efficient and effective manner. Presentation formats range from simply talking in front of the class to designing complex interactive computer-based information systems to be delivered through the Internet.

Always consider what is developmentally appropriate for your students. While a report might be a good way for presenting information, report writing is generally mastered in middle school. High schools might more appropriately prepare a legal brief or a piece of journalistic reporting.

The following list of methods of assessing student understanding is a start...

For Presentations, students can...


  • poems
  • short plays
  • screenplays
  • legal briefs
  • song lyrics
  • journals
  • diaries
  • memoirs
  • travelogue
  • interviews
  • newspaper or newsletter
  • letters (or email) to experts
  • an original advertisement
  • new ending for story or song
  • "what if..." thought experiment


  • posters
  • cartoons
  • timelines
  • models
  • chart
  • map
  • graphs
  • paintings (with explanations similar to museum exhibits)
  • board game
  • concept maps
  • multimedia presentations


  • solutions to problems in your school or community
  • math formulas to explain a problem, or pose a solution
  • categorization method for some plants or animals in your area based on careful observation (perhaps a small collection, or homemade "museum")
  • a plan for a scavenger hunt
  • a treasure hunt (in which clues involve vocabulary from the topic)
  • collect objects in nature
  • the night sky, food chain, water cycle, or other science topic
  • local, national, or international environmental concern
  • create simulations


  • a play
  • a concert
  • role-play lecture (such as a well-known person from history)
  • a dance based on literature or historical event
  • collected songs about a topic or from an era

Workshop: Tapping Into Multiple Intelligences
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation

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