Home » Blog » It’s All in Your Head (The Brain) #3: Multiple Intelligences and Careers

It’s All in Your Head (The Brain) #3: Multiple Intelligences and Careers

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lesson Overview:

In this lesson, students use what they have learned about multiple intelligence to sort careers.  They also use the library’s collection of resources on careers to find careers that fit each type of intelligence.  This is a sorting/grouping lesson with a chance for kids to work together in teams to extend their learning.

Lesson Plan:

Suggested Grades:



Given 24 careers, children will sort them into the eight multiple intelligence categories based on their understanding of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  (AASL 4.1.3, “Respond to literature and creative expressions of ideas in various formats and genres.”)

Suggested Time:

40-50 minutes

Success Criteria:

Each table group will work together to sort careers into multiple intelligence categories.  Table groups will then use their own ideas or the library’s resources to add one additional career to each multiple intelligence category.

Lesson Outline:

1. Introduction:

Remind the children that people are smart in different ways.  Ask the children the different ways people can be smart and see whether they can remember all eight categories from last week.  (Answer:  Word, Number, Body, Music, Picture/Art, People, Self, Nature Smart.)

Explain that today the students will be working with careers and figuring out which careers fit best into the eight Multiple Intelligence categories.  Show students the team handout (attached).  Ask the children to cut the careers into small word strips, talk over with the team where the careers best fit in the multiple intelligence categories, and place them into their correct categories on a graphic organizer.

Make sure that each table group has half of a flipchart piece of paper, scissors, glue, and markers.  Instruct one person on the team to draw a line dividing the paper in half lengthwise.  Ask another student to draw a line dividing the paper in half widthwise.  Finally, ask two remaining students to draw lines to divide each of the rectangles in half.  The result should be a large box with eight sections.   Ask the children to label each section with one of the Multiple Intelligence categories (see above).  The graphic organizers should now be set up.

2. Main:

Give the children time to cut out all 24 small word strips.  Again, this job should be shared amongst all the children.   Once the mini-word strips are cut out, ask the children to figure out in which category the career word strip best fits.  Example: Dancer would fit in the “Body Smart” category.  Choir director would fit into the “Music Smart” category, etc.

If the children do not know what some of the careers are, have them ask one another first, then ask a grown-up.  If you have access to a dictionary or encyclopedia, encourage the children to search for their own answers.

Once every table group has their graphic organizer filled in, go over their responses.  Here is a guide to the answers I prepared, but if a group can explain its thinking, be prepared to accept more than one answer:

Body Smart:  Lifeguard, Dancer, Mechanic

Music Smart:  Opera Singer, Choir Director, Conductor

Self Smart:  Counselor, Minister/Preacher/Imam/Rabbi, Entrepreneur (Self-Employed)

Nature Smart:  Farmer, Landscape Architect, Meteorologist

Picture/Art/Spatial Smart:  Photographer, Architect, Interior Designer

People Smart:  Teacher, Nurse, Manager

Word Smart:  Author, Journalist, Poet

Number/Math/Logic Smart:  Bookkeeper, Scientist, Mathematician

Now for the challenge!  If there is time, inform the teams that each table group needs to come up with one more career for each category on their own, based on their own thinking and understanding of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  This may be quite difficult for some of them.  You could start by asking them what some of their grown-ups do in their jobs.  Encourage them to look at the library’s collection of materials on careers/jobs.  What else can they discover?  How about barber, disk jockey, or veterinarian?  Baker, bus driver, or plumber?  Police officer, chef, or baseball player?  The possibilities are endless.

When they are finished, the table group should have all 24 mini-word strips sorted, and they should have written in at least one other job for each of the Multiple Intelligence categories.  So, all together, they should have 8×4 or 32 careers listed, four in each of the eight categories.

3. Conclusion:

As a bit of reflection, ask the students how well they followed instructions and cooperated with one another.  Ask how they managed their discussions when they were assigning categories.  Did everyone have a chance to participate?  Ask whether they used the library resources well when they were searching for new jobs in each category.  Remind the children that being able to work with others is “People Smart” and praise the positive behaviors you observed today.

  1. Scissors, one pair for every two children.
  2. Flipchart paper cut in half. One half sheet for each table group.
  3. Colored markers.
  4. Glue sticks or cello tape, one per table group.
  5. A collection of the library’s print resources on careers.

This entire lesson is an activity based on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  If your school’s Unit of Inquiry does not use Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence model, you’ll need to adapt this lesson for whichever model or terminology is used by your teachers.

Recommended books for this lesson:


Key Terms:

Multiple Intelligences, Careers

Team Handout, Multiple Intelligences and Careers