Intelligent ? Which type?



Mother bird triumphantly swoops onto the bus stand, her little birdie Bansi tucked tightly under her arm , fist bumping in delight as she sees the afternoon bus turn around the corner. “Just in time, she whispers mentally patting her back.

Daughter 1 : ( smiles as she steps down from the bus)

Ma: “You won’t believe what happenend ! While I was in the washroom , Bansi emptied the 2 kg Surf Ultra packet on the floor!

All three of them chortle, Bansi included!

“And then she poured water on it!! And wait, there’s more – she decided to clean all that with Papa’s blanket! Whew, I am so happy I could make it to the bus stop in time !


Daughter1: “I can find my way back, ma ! I am not a little diddle anymore!”

Bansi: me too!

Ma: Fair enough. Tell me , do you remember the way to our house?


Daughter 1: Yup!

Bansi: Me too!


Ma: Kindly enlighten me .

Bansi: Me too!


Daughter1: Simple! Get into the colony, cross the red gate , walk straight and turn right , say a quick hello to the family plant , go straight and say hello to istri wala bhaiya and dhan te tan- stairs to home !

And if you pick me up by car, I will get down at the the guava tree( where we saw that that monkey eating a banana!) and Home !!!!( Clapping victoriously- little sister joins in too!)

Ma: Aah.


Bansi: My turn!!!

“I cross the red gate and I jump and walk and run and stop right next to guava tree and climb it and eat a banana and fly and get wings and dance on the clouds and …..Mamma , bhook lagi hai!!( ma, I am hungry!)


Dear readers, a simple route did exist but it was intentional on my part to not download that piece of information into my daughter’s head. That 2 minute conversation spoke volumes about her learning styles and it was a matter of time before I got a chance to validate my discovery.

Apparently first graders are often asked to recite poems. Nothing wrong with that- Memory is a muscle and needs to be exercised. But when you have words like mooch(mustache ), pooch(tail) and the like, one tends to get overwhelmed! I decided to be her study partner and although she had a headstart on me , it was a matter of time before I could learn the 64 word poem. Right? Wrong.

Agreed, my left brain was cramped with stuff which strongly interfered with my learning (Questions- why do I have to learn this? And why do they have to learn this? Why didn’t this mouse take care of its mooch and pooch!?) And my little lady raced ahead with a simple trick. While I battled with words and matras, she decided to make her life easy and draw the whole goddam thing on paper. One picture per stanza! Once she knew the order, she rattled off the entire poem with as much pananche as a waiter in a three star restaurant ( shahi panner, paneer pasanda, palak paneer … you get it?)


Wish I could have known Howard garderner when I was a young kid- Could have explained all those fights with equations and theorems and maps!This cool guy identified 9 types of intelligences as depicted below-





And how do we use this information to make our lives easier? In February 2017, I received 35 mails from anxious mothers hoping for a miracle –“padhta nahi hai! (doesn’t study!”) And what bothers me are the associated traumas- house arrests, no TV time, no playtime, sleeping late! Seriously, it is NOT taking you towards academic success- only widening the gap between the management and the Generation Next.


Here are some creative ideas to choose from to ensure you are using your child’s intelligence to get your effort’s worth. (hence- decided to go for an instead-of style).


It may require further brainstorming from your side but rest assured, it beats the

standard 1-2-3 mugging approach that we have conveniently trained ourselves to in the

last couple of decades. 



  1. Verbal-linguistic students – Call them book worms or born debaters-they love words!




Learning Activities:

·         Crossword puzzles

·         Story-telling (own words) in the park/ at home with a mike

·         Playing Scrabble/ Bingo

·         Creating a 'NEW WORD EVERYDAY' Notebook/ Word Jar

·         Watching English movies for child viewing

·         Writing thank-you notes/cards for friend and family

·         Writing articles for the neighbourhood newsletter/ Blogging

·         Writing jingles for made-up advertisements

·         Role-Playing unique endings to stories


  1. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Math Smart) - enjoy working with numbers and analyse patterns and relationships.


Learning Activities:

·         Painting Snakes and ladders /Hopscotch with chalk /paint on floors/lawns

·         Paint by number pictures/ Tic tactoe/Sudoku/Lego/Rangometry/ Cards

·         Practice basic numerical operations using buttons /beads

·         Totalling the bill amount at restaurants/during local shopping (computation not automated)

·         Creating secret friend codes

·         Calender marking for important dates

·         Prediction games- how many rajma beans in a kg?

·         Design surveys for decisions of mutual interest and create bar graphs/ pie charts etc.

·         Drawing out maps to scale of new locations visited/ route taken etc.


  1. Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart) - Attention, doodlers! This is your space if you look at a diagram first and the text later.



Learning Activities:

·         Using clay or play dough to represent concepts ; working with play money

·         Using puppets ; 3 D projects and imagination games

·         Making collages using images/words/topics from the text

·         Being the designated photographer for classroom projects/school projects/ school events/ school yearbook, school newsletter, or science assignments.

·         Transforming text into pictures

·         Using pictorial models such as flow charts, visual maps, Venn diagrams, and timelines

·         Using tools like concept mapping, mind mapping, and clustering.

·         Playing Pictionary/ Win, Lose or Draw

·         Map making and map reading  to study geographical locations discussed in class.



  1. Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)-If you can pick up a tune/lyrics as quick as lightening and find yourself humming constantly, look no further!


·         Listening to music from different historical periods.

·         Learn a musical instrument

·         Making a playlist for text- a song on the Mughal dynasty

·         Create innovative music with everyday objects

·         Musical Art

·         Writing and reciting poetry/ Shlok recitation

·         Perform sound and vibration experiments in science

·         Listening to CDs that teach concepts like the alphabet, parts of speech etc.

·         Recording text to memorise



  1. Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart) - All those who love to move !


·         Playing games like Twister and Simon Says, dancing and sports activities

·         Participating in movement breaks during the day.

·         Performing skits or acting out scenes from books or key historical events.

·         Designing props/creating costumes for role-playing, skits, or simulations.

·         Treasure  hunts, searching for items related to a theme or unit.

·         Building objects using blocks, cubes, or Legos

·         Design and build an architectural model out of materials like Popsicle sticks or toothpicks


  1. Interpersonal (People Smart)-People’s person- who love to interact.

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·         Playing Charades and being part of school teams

·         Working in cooperative groups to design and complete projects.

·         Working in pairs to learn math facts.

·         Interviewing people with knowledge about content-area topics (such as a veteran to learn about World War II, a lab technician to learn about life science)

·         Tutoring younger students or classmates.

·         Using puppets to put on a puppet show.

·         Study partners/groups

·         Reading biographies



  1. Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)- Internalized and self –sufficient, they are often blessed with a deep awareness of the self.



·         Writing reflective papers on content-area topics.

·         Writing essays from the perspective of historical figures, such as Civil War soldiers or suffragettes.

·         Writing a literary autobiography, reflecting on their reading life.

·         Writing goals for the future and planning ways to achieve them.

·         Using software/app that allows them to work alone such as Duolingo.

·         Keeping journals or logs throughout the year.

·         Writing a diary/journal ; toddlers can draw

·         Making a scrapbook for their poems, papers, and reflections.


  1. Naturalistic Intelligence (Nature Smart)-appreciate nature and connect with it.


·         Caring for classroom plants.

·         Caring for classroom pets.

·         Sorting and classifying natural objects, such as leaves and rocks.

·         Researching animal habitats.

·         Observing natural surroundings.

·         Organizing or participating in park/playground clean-ups, recycling drives, and beautification projects.




It may not come easy to you at the beginning but it will surely and steadily guarantee an integrated approach to life itself. Pour in your experiences and let’s all grow together!!



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