A few years ago I helped our public library put together bags of pre-k and kindergarten materials over specific concepts needed for entering school, as well as other concepts developed and designed by a theme. Each bag has a concept and several activities that encompass many of the multiple intelligences. (Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial, Body-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalist Intelligence)
I am constructing similar bags for my students to use in my kindergarten class to help enrich and/or re-teach those students who are having difficulties with a specific concept. Below is a list of the bags I have created thus far.
- Number Bag
- Alphabet Bag
- Nursery Rhyme Bag
- Spanish Bag
- Animal Bag—choose ocean animals, land animals, farm animals, dinosaurs, etc.
- Geography Bag
- Sign Language Bag
- Seasons Bag
- Solar System Bag
- Plants Bag
- Water Bag
- Shapes Bag
- Color Bag
- All About My Body Bag
- Transportation Bag
When creating these bags I try to pay close attention to the range of multiple intelligences and include as many activities as I can to meet all of them. The bags are simple to create. You can make simple homemade bags out of fabric or you can use large Ziploc bags. The size depends on how many items you plan on placing in the bag. I always include a folder that lists the materials and specific directions on how to use them effectively with the child checking out the bag.
If using the bags to enrich or re-teach I specifically share with the parents the reason for the bag and how they can help their child grow. Keep an inventory list of all materials so when the child brings the bag back to school you can make sure all items made it back into the bag. Inside the folder you can list other materials and resources that may be helpful in building upon the concept being taught.
Listed below are examples of the multiple intelligences and activities that could be placed in the bag to meet the needs of the child engaging in the activities.
Example of an Alphabet Bag:
Linguistic Intelligence: Make a book and read aloud the alphabetic letters, practice tracing or writing the letters of the alphabet, tell a story about the letters in the alphabet. (A is for Allie the Alligator)
Logical Intelligence: Make your own alphabet puzzle. Write the letters of the alphabet on a piece of cardboard. Cut out the letters in large puzzle pieces and practice putting the puzzle back together again.
Spatial Intelligence: Paint the letters of the alphabet, or for summer fun use a spray bottle and squirt the alphabet onto a fence or concrete area. Use shaving cream on desk and draw the letters. Shape letters using play dough or clay.
Body-Kinesthetic Intelligence: Hop or punch out the letters of the alphabet as you sing the song….no extra materials needed. J Dancing or acting out the letters is another easy way to get kids moving and learning. Building with Lego’s or blocks or air writing the alphabet, are other fun ways to get the body and mind engaged in learning.
Musical Intelligence: Create an musical instrument to use when singing the alphabet (example: staple two paper plates together, leave a small opening to add some dry beans or a few rocks, staple shut and start tapping or shaking to the ABC’s. Listen to an alphabet CD, download the song to an iPod, or record you and your child singing the ABC’s. Kids love to hear themselves recorded.
Interpersonal Intelligence: Play a game such as letter match with your child. Print alphabet cards in capital and lowercase. Place a few of them upside down and take turn turning over two at a time. If you get a match you get to keep the cards. Continue playing until all of the cards have been matched.
Intrapersonal Intelligence: Let your child decide how to practice the alphabet or provide him/her with an opportunity to reflect and share what he/she has learned about the alphabet.
Naturalist Intelligence: Use items in your back yard to create a representation of each alphabetic letter. Examples include sticks, grass, acorns, etc., or simply read an alphabet book outside in a cozy spot. Using a magnifying glass to find letters of the alphabet in a newspaper or magazine is another way for your child to engage in naturalistic learning.
Be creative in your bag creations and keep it simple. Books, flashcards, puzzles, CDs, watercolors, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, popsicle sticks, linking cubes, a jump rope, paper (lined and unlined), magnifying glass, binoculars, and a folder of instructions are all you need to get started on creating your own concept or theme bags….oh yeah…don’t forget the bag!