Children Bloom using the Multiple Intelligences
In my years of residency teaching , I have used Bloom’s Taxonomy
to help structure my creative storytelling lesson plans, and
have taught using Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence's theory.
Using story as an anchor, constructing lessons that build
on all six levels of the taxonomy and presenting these lessons
using the multiple intelligences gives all students an opportunity
to learn in a variety of ways. Students who have been silent
or struggling suddenly find their own special way to bloom.
Here is a lesson plan using the fable “Mercury
and the Honest Woodsman”. Curricular suggestions that
combine Bloom’s higher order thinking skills and seven areas
of intelligence that Gardner recognizes are included.
Standards Connection: English-Language Arts, History-Social
Science, Visual and Performing Arts (Theatre), Science, Mathematics
Knowledge: List the characters in the story. Comprehension: Explain why Mercury gave the Honest
Woodsman all three axes. Application: Change the setting and time and write
the same fable with characters appropriate for the time and
setting they choose. Analysis: Pretend to be reporters and interview the
characters from the story to get the real scoop on the golden
and silver ax. Synthesis: Imagine what happens to the Honest Woodcutter
and his family now that they are rich and write a sequel to
the story. Evaluation: Discuss with a partner how the information
from the story is important and can be applied today.
Mathematical - Logical
Knowledge: List the types of axes found in the
sequence in which they are brought up from the pond, first
to last. Comprehension: Identify each character’s important
characteristics by using the 5W’s and the 5 senses. (see lesson
plan exercise). Application: Can you solve the Honest Woodsman problem
without the help of Mercury? How could you get his ax for
him? Analysis: Make a time line showing the order of events
in the story. Synthesis: Hypothesize how the Honest Woodcutter could
invest his new wealth. Evaluation: Research the current value of gold and
silver and decide if the Honest Woodcutter and his family
could live for the rest of their lives off the worth of the
axes, or should they invest for the future?
Knowledge: Group students and have each group draw one portion of the story sequence. Comprehension: Imagine the wood where the Honest
Woodcutter lives. Choose a time of year and describe what
you see. Application: Draw a picture of Mercury as you
see him. Find artwork from Greek and Roman history that depicts
the god Mercury as others saw him. Analysis: Draw a map of the story. Don’t forget the
Honest Woodsman house, the pool of water and the town! Synthesis: Create posters inviting schoolmates/parents
to a performance of “Mercy and the Honest Woodsman.” Evaluation: If ‘Honesty is the best policy’, what is
a second good policy? Debate with a friend whether you think
honesty is the best policy, or if another virtue is better.
Write down your decisions.
Knowledge: Recall where in the story sounds could help the action of the story come
alive. Comprehension: Choose sound instruments for each ‘action’.
Example:cymbals make a splash sound each time Mercury dives
into the pool of water. Woodblocks could be used when the
Woodcutter is chopping trees. A triangle or bells sound each
time Mercury surfaces with an ax. Application: Dramatize the story, using sound instruments
throughout and perform for another class. Analysis: Experiment with your voice and see how many
different meanings you can give one sentence in the story
by putting emphasis on different words each time. Synthesis: Create your own sound instruments to use
for the story. Recyclable items such as water bottles. Fill
with beans or rice and shake, or run a pencil down bottle
ridges for yet another sound. Evaluation: Perform the story with sound instruments
and then without. Discuss or write a paragraph about which
you think was better and why.
Knowledge: Act out the story using only gestures
and movements to communicate. Comprehension: Use lengths of different textured and
colored fabric as props and create a costume for the character
in the story you are playing. Application: Take turns becoming different characters
from the play and see if classmates can guess who you are. Analysis: Survey your classmates to find out if they
felt using their voice helped them become their character
in the story, or if gestures and body movements helped more.
Make a graph that compares your findings. Synthesis: Using simple props, arrange a setting for
the story; trees, pool of water, etc.. Evaluation: After the story is performed by a group,
have everyone in the class express their reaction to the presentation
through a physical gesture, action, movement, posture, or
other body language.
Knowledge: Have volunteers
stand in front of the class holding a piece of the storyboard
in random order. As a class, put the story in the proper order,
ordering volunteers from beginning to end. Comprehension: Working in pairs, take turns retelling
the story as you remember it. Application: Change the time (long ago, now, in the
future) the story takes place and then write a group story
(passing the story from one student to the next, each writing
a sentence.) Analysis: Working in the same group, discuss how many
other things change in the story when you change the time.
Synthesis: With your group, act out the new story you’ve
created by changing the time it happened for classmates. Evaluation: Should the dishonest woodcutters have been
punished for lying? Decide how else they could have been taught
a lesson in honesty.
Knowledge: Name the Roman
gods that were named after the 12 Olympian Greek gods.
Comprehension: Explain in a paragraph why you think Mercury
brought up the gold and silver ax from the pool before he
brought up the Honest Woodsman’s old ax.
Application: Visualize yourself in the Honest Woodman’s
place after he has lost his ax. Write a letter to your family
about what happened and how you feel about it. Analysis: The moral of this story is found repeatedly
in fables. Make a list of titles of other fables you find
that have the same moral.
Synthesis: Mercury tried to trick the Honest Woodcutter.
Have you ever tried to trick someone? Have you ever been tricked
yourself? How did you feel?
Evaluation: Write a prediction about what the Honest Woodcutter’s
future may be like with his new wealth.