Teaching children through naturalistic intelligence (multiple intelligence) - Activities, Toys, Materials, Examples

Parentree-editors 2009-05-11 10:50:46

Naturalistic intelligence is the ability to recognize, and understand various living things (plants, animals), as well as take cognizance of the nature around us. It also is the ability to analyze, classify and recognize patterns in these things.  This eighth intelligence was added to the list in 1997.

For a child, who is strong in naturalistic intelligence, here are some ways in which you can provide interesting learning opportunities.

Strengths of children with naturalistic intelligence

  • Identify with nature and living organisms
  • Find patterns and attributes across a variety of organisms
  • Collecting and organizing items
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Ability to distinguish between similar items and find minute differences

Activities that children with naturalistic intelligence will enjoy

  • Collecting natural organisms - feathers, leaves, flowers etc.,
  • Organizing collections
  • Using scientific gadgets - telescope, microscope etc.,
  • Environment related activities - recycling etc.,
  • Learning about nature
  • Visiting various natural locations and places where they can mingle with nature (including farms)

Helping children with naturalistic intelligence learn

For children with naturalistic intelligence, relating to nature, organizing and finding patterns, are the best pathways to help them learn.

  • Relate everything they learn to nature
  • Help them think through how what they learnt  impacts the world
  • Assist information recollection using categories, types, segments, attributes, rules of thumb etc.,
  • Introduce them to various scientific instruments and how to use them

Toys and materials that you should have for children with naturalistic intelligence

  • Magnifying glass
  • Telescope
  • Microscope
  • Reference books about birds, insects, animals, plants, flowers etc.,
  • History books
  • Scrapbooks, labels, glue, scissors etc., for organizing collections

Examples of how to teach various topics to children with naturalistic intelligence


  • Connect all concepts to nature. For example, relate mathematical progressions to how plants grow, relate sets and Venn diagrams to types of flowers and how they share certain characteristics and not others
  • Give them books to read about Pi, the golden ratio (1.618) etc.,
  • Point out mathematical influences in nature - Example, the various geometries in natural formations


  • Explain how various scientific concepts relate to nature - For example, connect physics concepts like energy to solar power and the environment, organic chemistry to plastics and their impact to earth, discuss various laws of physics (newton etc.,) that explain how the planetary system works
  • Help your child make collections of various natural organisms


  • Teach them about the flora and fauna in various countries
  • Learn about farming techniques in various climates
  • Study how geographic growth has impacted animal and bird populations


  • Discuss how natural events influenced the course of history. For example, talk about disease outbreaks in various ancient civilizations, disappearance of dinosaurs etc.,
  • Learn about how various government policies have impacted nature

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