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Back to School Lesson Plan | Student Learning-Strengths Inventory



All subjects


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12


Brief Description

Use an online inventory to determine students' learning strengths and intelligences.


Students will

  • take an online inventory to determine their learning strengths and weaknesses.
  • create graphs to show their learning strengths. (optional)
  • build self-esteem by learning about their personal learning strengths.
  • learn about areas where they might need to work harder.
  • learn to appreciate differences among their classmates.


multiple intelligences, intelligence, learning style, self-esteem, differentiation, Gardner, inventory, survey

Materials Needed

  • one or more of the online resources listed below
  • paper and supplies for creating graphs to show learning strengths

Lesson Plan

What are your students' learning styles? Which of Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences best applies to each of them? Those are things any teacher might want to know in order to differentiate instruction for his or her students -- but this activity also can provide eye-opening information for the students themselves!

An inventory of students' learning styles can build self-esteem by helping them discover their strengths; learn about areas in which they might need to make more effort; and appreciate the differences among themselves.

Published inventories are readily available to help teachers and students determine their learning strengths. You also can find some excellent free resources online:

How Many Ways Are You Smart?
This simple printable (pdf) page provides an easy tool for discovering which of eight intelligences students favor. Watch the associated video (scroll down to find video) to learn how to administer and use the results of the survey. Students can do the activity on their own by simply folding the inventory sheet in half and making a checkmark next to each of the 24 statements that describe them. Then, they unfold the paper and tally the results. Be sure students share the results with you!

Multiple Intelligences Inventory
If you're looking for a more in-depth MI inventory, this one provides ten statements that relate to each of nine intelligences. Students identify the statements that describe them as learners. They then tally and graph the results on their own.

You might also share with students some of what the inventory means.

With older students, you might want to turn this activity into a research project in which they research "multiple intelligences" and learn more about the intelligence(s) they favor.

You also can learn more about a teacher who has used learning inventories in the classroom in the Education World article Your Students: No Two Are Alike

Those are just a few of the many resources you'll find online that can help you (and your students) learn more about the learning styles your they favor. Following are some additional resources:

Note: The informal inventories above represent only a small sampling of the available tools; the results should not be used as a sole measure of students' learning strengths or abilities.


Students share (in words, pictures, or writing -- depending on their learning strengths) what they learned about how they learn.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins


Find more great back-to-school activities on EducationWorld's special Back to School archive page.

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Updated Fall 2014