Children Bloom using the Multiple Intelligences
In my years of residency teaching , I have used Bloom’s Taxonomy to help structure my creative storytelling lesson plans, and have taught using Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence's theory. Using story as an anchor, constructing lessons that build on all six levels of the taxonomy and presenting these lessons using the multiple intelligences gives all students an opportunity to learn in a variety of ways. Students who have been silent or struggling suddenly find their own special way to bloom.

Here is a lesson plan using the fable “Mercury and the Honest Woodsman”. Curricular suggestions that combine Bloom’s higher order thinking skills and seven areas of intelligence that Gardner recognizes are included.

Standards Connection: English-Language Arts, History-Social Science, Visual and Performing Arts (Theatre), Science, Mathematics

Verbal- Linguistic
List the characters in the story.
Comprehension: Explain why Mercury gave the Honest Woodsman all three axes.
Application: Change the setting and time and write the same fable with characters appropriate for the time and setting they choose.
Analysis: Pretend to be reporters and interview the characters from the story to get the real scoop on the golden and silver ax.
Synthesis: Imagine what happens to the Honest Woodcutter and his family now that they are rich and write a sequel to the story.
Evaluation: Discuss with a partner how the information from the story is important and can be applied today.

Mathematical - Logical
List the types of axes found in the sequence in which they are brought up from the pond, first to last.
Comprehension: Identify each character’s important characteristics by using the 5W’s and the 5 senses. (see lesson plan exercise).
Application: Can you solve the Honest Woodsman problem without the help of Mercury? How could you get his ax for him?
Analysis: Make a time line showing the order of events in the story.
Synthesis: Hypothesize how the Honest Woodcutter could invest his new wealth.
Evaluation: Research the current value of gold and silver and decide if the Honest Woodcutter and his family could live for the rest of their lives off the worth of the axes, or should they invest for the future?

Group students and have each group draw one portion of the story sequence.
Comprehension: Imagine the wood where the Honest Woodcutter lives. Choose a time of year and describe what you see.
Application: Draw a picture of Mercury as you see him. Find artwork from Greek and Roman history that depicts the god Mercury as others saw him.
Analysis: Draw a map of the story. Don’t forget the Honest Woodsman house, the pool of water and the town!
Synthesis: Create posters inviting schoolmates/parents to a performance of “Mercy and the Honest Woodsman.”
Evaluation: If ‘Honesty is the best policy’, what is a second good policy? Debate with a friend whether you think honesty is the best policy, or if another virtue is better. Write down your decisions.

Recall where in the story sounds could help the action of the story come alive.
Comprehension: Choose sound instruments for each ‘action’. Example:cymbals make a splash sound each time Mercury dives into the pool of water. Woodblocks could be used when the Woodcutter is chopping trees. A triangle or bells sound each time Mercury surfaces with an ax.
Application: Dramatize the story, using sound instruments throughout and perform for another class.
Analysis: Experiment with your voice and see how many different meanings you can give one sentence in the story by putting emphasis on different words each time.
Synthesis: Create your own sound instruments to use for the story. Recyclable items such as water bottles. Fill with beans or rice and shake, or run a pencil down bottle ridges for yet another sound.
Evaluation: Perform the story with sound instruments and then without. Discuss or write a paragraph about which you think was better and why.

Act out the story using only gestures and movements to communicate.
Comprehension: Use lengths of different textured and colored fabric as props and create a costume for the character in the story you are playing.
Application: Take turns becoming different characters from the play and see if classmates can guess who you are.
Analysis: Survey your classmates to find out if they felt using their voice helped them become their character in the story, or if gestures and body movements helped more. Make a graph that compares your findings.
Synthesis: Using simple props, arrange a setting for the story; trees, pool of water, etc..
Evaluation: After the story is performed by a group, have everyone in the class express their reaction to the presentation through a physical gesture, action, movement, posture, or other body language.

Have volunteers stand in front of the class holding a piece of the storyboard in random order. As a class, put the story in the proper order, ordering volunteers from beginning to end.
Comprehension: Working in pairs, take turns retelling the story as you remember it.
Application: Change the time (long ago, now, in the future) the story takes place and then write a group story (passing the story from one student to the next, each writing a sentence.)
Analysis: Working in the same group, discuss how many other things change in the story when you change the time.
Synthesis: With your group, act out the new story you’ve created by changing the time it happened for classmates.
Evaluation: Should the dishonest woodcutters have been punished for lying? Decide how else they could have been taught a lesson in honesty.

Name the Roman gods that were named after the 12 Olympian Greek gods.
Explain in a paragraph why you think Mercury brought up the gold and silver ax from the pool before he brought up the Honest Woodsman’s old ax.
Visualize yourself in the Honest Woodman’s place after he has lost his ax. Write a letter to your family about what happened and how you feel about it.
Analysis: The moral of this story is found repeatedly in fables. Make a list of titles of other fables you find that have the same moral.
Mercury tried to trick the Honest Woodcutter. Have you ever tried to trick someone? Have you ever been tricked yourself? How did you feel?
Write a prediction about what the Honest Woodcutter’s future may be like with his new wealth.


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