Intelligences Checklist: 8 Child Intelligences that Can Weaken or Strengthen a Child’s Learning Development

Intelligences Checklist: 8 Child Intelligences that Can Weaken or Strengthen a Child’s Learning

This article provides a helpful intelligences checklist to determine where your child learns best and where their strengths and weaknesses may be in the classroom. Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

For so many years, the IQ test ruled the world. Your intelligence could be measured in a single number, and that is where you stood in the world. People acknowledged that others had gifts and talents, but that was separate from intelligence for a very long time. It was not until 1983 when Howard Gardner challenged the concept of the IQ test, arguing that people had many different ways of being smart. He developed a theory that children have various strengths and they are important to how a child not only learns, but how they view the world. After this theory began developing, studies were done on the IQ test and it was found that it only measured how students performed within the walls of school, but it had no indicator of how successful students would be in the real world. This is when educators began to gravitate toward the multiple intelligences theory, because it provided students with a way to problem solve that would carry them through school and beyond.

Intelligences Checklist: 8 Child Intelligences that Can Weaken or Strengthen a Child’s Learning | ilslearningcorner.com

All of these thoughts are echoed in 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences, “We’ve grown accustomed in the twentieth century to associating high intelligence with the bookworm, the egghead and the academic. Yet by definition intelligence is the ability to respond successfully to new situations and the capacity to learn from one’s past experiences. If your car breaks down on the highway, who’s the most intelligent person for the job? Is it someone with a Ph.D. from a major university or a car mechanic with a junior high education? Intelligence depends on the context, the tasks and the demands that life presents to us and not on an IQ score.”

8 Intelligences that Make up a Child’s Learning Development

Many have been studying these intelligences and have developed seven major types. Keep in mind, everyone can possess anywhere from one to all of these types of intelligences.

Linguistic Intelligence (“word smart”)

Students who have linguistic intelligence are “word smart” meaning their strength is language. They usually have highly developed communication skills. They can write, speak, use proper grammar and have a large vocabulary. They usually express themselves verbally extremely well. Any time that they can debate, brainstorm verbally, story tell, journal write or present in the classroom, they will excel.

Logical-mathematical Intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)

Students who possess logical-mathematical intelligence are very good with numbers and logical concepts. They possess excellent reasoning skills. They love things with patterns, like a scientific process or formulas. They can see patterns that most people cannot see. They learn best with patterns, logical problem solving (real world application), and anything to do with numbers.

Spatial Intelligence (“picture smart”)

Students who are more spatially intelligent are “picture smart.” They rely on visuals to learn or otherwise acquire information. They tend to be more creative, because they get most of their information from creative means like drawings, photographs, sculptures, or any type of multimedia. Small modifications can be made to help these students be successful in class, such as taking visual notes instead of written notes.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“body smart”)

Many students have aspects of bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. This is the desire to learn by doing rather than watching or listening. They love things like experiments, demonstrations and field trips. All of this is because they are actively receiving information rather than passively. As ADD and ADHD diagnosis increased, more students desire for this type of learning.

Intelligences Checklist: 8 Child Intelligences that Can Weaken or Strengthen a Child’s Learning | ilslearningcorner.com

Musical Intelligence (“music smart”)

Musical intelligence does not always have to mean music, but just sound in general. The vibrations that the sound makes in the ear causes students who possess this intelligence to be engaged and receptive. There are many activities that can be swapped out for musical activities. Children that have an underdeveloped auditory system may struggle in this area, while students that have a good auditory system really excel with verbal directions and instructions. If a teacher is having students draw a symbol representing a Latin root, the student can easily make up a song that will help them remember the root in their own way.

Interpersonal Intelligence (“people smart”)

Students who have interpersonal intelligence tend to be more people smart. They feed off their understanding of others. They are great communicators and empathizers, which is why these people are usually politicians, counselors and teachers. Students who have this type of intelligence love activities like working on groups, anything collaborative, giving feedback and teaching others. They get their energy from others, so the more the teacher can avoid isolating them, the better.

Intrapersonal Intelligence (“self smart”)

Intrapersonal intelligence means that a student is skilled in being self-aware. They are very aware of their own thoughts and feelings. They don’t do well with groups and they tend to be more self-sufficient. They love any activity that requires them to reflect upon themselves, like an autobiography. A great idea for these types of students is for them to keep a journal, that way they can work on their writing skills as well as self-reflect.

Naturalist Intelligence (“nature smart”)

Due to traditional school settings, this intelligence is often overlooked. Students with this type of intelligence have high sensory skills and they often focus on the effect we have on our surroundings and vice versa. Getting students outside more, and offering them activities that are centered around nature and the environment and fitting that into the Common Core is the best option for students with this intelligence.

Intelligences Checklist

To better understand where your child excels, you can use the checklist below to provide more learning opportunities in these areas. You may even want to share it with the child’s teacher so they can modify or create lesson plans based on the child’s type of intelligence and how they learn best in the classroom. Each child is unique and has a different type of learning style. If the child does not fit the “mold” within the classroom, you may begin to see learning delays. It’s not that the child is dumb, but rather they learn differently from other students. For these types of children, learning materials can be adjusted to fit their learning style.

To access the checklist for your child or student, complete the information below.

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Intelligences Checklist: 8 Child Intelligences that Can Weaken or Strengthen a Child’s Learning | ilslearningcorner.com


Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs

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