Interpersonal intelligence is how we relate to other people. It is about understanding them, working closely with them, cooperating and conveying to them what we are trying to say in a way they understand.
For a child, who is strong in interpersonal intelligence, here are some ways in which you can provide interesting learning opportunities.
Strengths of children with interpersonal intelligence
- They love being with people and relate to them very well
- They like working in teams to accomplish tasks
- They can lead very well
- They also show concern and empathy for others
- They can make very persuasive arguments
Activities that children with interpersonal intelligence will enjoy
- Working with other children, especially those younger to them
- Meeting and getting information from various people
- Collaborative activities
- Love talking about themselves or what they do, with other people
- Helping others - volunteering
- Interacting with family
- Monitoring "rules" and "practices" in the household
Helping children with interpersonal intelligence learn
For children with interpersonal intelligence, direct interaction, discussions with others and team efforts are the best pathways to help them learn.
- Get them together with other children to do projects
- Assign activities that require them to meet and interact with people
- Expose them to a wide variety of people and the roles they play and the skills they have
- Let them do "role play"
- Let them explain to you what they have learnt or discovered - listen carefully (even if it is something you already know) and interact with them. You could make this a daily event, occurring at breakfast or dinner.
- When explaining or teaching things, try to insert multiple characters and personalities into it
- When traveling or riding around, point out various people and what they are doing eg., vegetable seller to bus driver
- Assign them responsibility to lead a team and discover more information about certain areas or give them a project to make something complex
- Ask your child's teacher for other children in their class with high interpersonal intelligence. Work with the other child's parents and make the two children "learning buddies". (This may take a lot of effort and the children will have to spend a lot of time together but both will do much better than by learning alone).
Toys and materials that you should have for children with interpersonal intelligence
- Notebooks, pens, pencils
- White board
- Recording device
- Games that require cooperative play rather than only competitive
- Video camera (for older children)
- Encyclopaedias/computer - used to learn and then explain to others
- Group activities like sports camps
- Team sports
Examples of how to teach various topics to children with interpersonal intelligence
- To teach addition and subtraction, cook with them, and let them measure out the recipe ingredients (2 spoons, 3 cups etc,) together with you.
- To teach them dimensions (length, width, area, volumes), tell them to draw a chart, stick it on the wall and give a lecture about dimensions
- When they do a problem with equations, tell them to describe aloud each operation like they are explaining it to you. "To calculate the square of the sum of two numbers a and b [(a+b)2], first you have to take a and multiply it by itself [a2] and then you have to take b and multiply it by itself [b2] and then you have to multiply a with b and then with 2 [2ab]. Then you have add all these three together [a2 + b2 + 2ab]."
- Tell them to do a role play about various astronomers (Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo etc.,) and how planetary theory evolved from saying that everything revolved around earth to finally discovering that everything revolves around the sun.
- Take them to a local industry and let them talk to the various engineers there to discover what they manufacture.
- Take a book on animals, your child and a few of his/her friends to the zoo and have discussions near the exhibits, about each animal.
- Have your child read about another country and explain to you with a speech and charts and a map
- Sit down with your child on your computer, access Google Earth (or similar services) and go through various landmarks and landscapes and discuss them
- Do a dual-learning scenario. Have your child learn one lesson while their learning buddy learns another lesson. Let them explain the lessons to each other.
- Have your child write dialogues that could have happened between various classes of people in ancient times - "farmers talking to landlords", "landlords talking to courtiers", "courtiers talking to the queen", "the king talking to the army general" etc.,