Picasso Carnival / Using Multiple Intelligence Theory in the Art Room

The following is a guest post written by Tricia Fuglestad.  She has taught elementary art at Dryden Elementary in Arlington Heights, Illinois for 17 years.  

After taking a six week online course in Multiple Intelligence theory in the classroom offered through PBS Teacherline, I designed a lesson about the artwork of Pablo Picasso that would engage my diverse learners through their multiple intelligences.
I set up six centers in the art room for students to rotate through. Prior to our first day of this Picasso Carnival, students watched an intro movie, shown below, to give them an overview of each center.

Intro to our Picasso Carnival from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Center One: Pin the Feature on the Face (Kinesthetic)
In this center students take turns blindfolding themselves and pinning a feature of the face onto a blank head. This will result in a portrait with randomly placed features much like the look of Pablo Picasso’s cubistic portraits.

Center Two: Mr. Picassohead (logical, visual, and interpersonal)
In this center, students use the online game, http://www.mrpicassohead.com/create.html
to virtually design a Picasso-styled portrait. Students are to work collaboratively, read through the posted instructions together, take turns, and make group decisions to create one final design. This design can then be save with a screenshot (apple shift 3) to the desktop. This center will be set up on the classroom’s interactive whiteboard.

Center Three: The Picasso Polka  (Musical, linguistic, interpersonal)
In this center, students will listen to the Picasso Polka Song by Greg Percy individually on iPods while reading the lyrics. Then they will discuss and interpret the meaning of the lyrics with the group.

Center Four:  Art Critics (interpersonal, linguistic, visual)
In this center students evaluate the cubistic styled Picasso painting called, Girl Before a Mirror. They read these questions and discuss as a group their responses.
1.What colors did Picasso use?
2.Are they bold, faded, mixed, or pure?
3.Look at one color. Does the color show up more than once?
4.Is each color balanced throughout the composition?
5.What shapes do you see?
6.Do the shapes repeat?
7.What line patterns do you see?
8.Do the line patterns repeat?
9.Can you find the face and the reflection of the face?
10.Is it Realistic (looking real) or Abstract (not looking real)?

Center Five: The Grouping Group (logical/mathematical)
In this center students will categorize 65 small printed images of different pieces of art by Pablo Picasso. The instructions will ask students to group the images according to different criteria, first being Abstract (not trying to look real) vs Realistic (trying to look real). If time allows, students can then pull out images and sort them into another group for those created during the Blue Period (sad looking, painted in mostly blue hues) vs cubistic (scrambled up with multiple views of objects all at once).

Center Six: Playing the Blues (Kinesthetic and Intrapersonal)
In this center, students take turns becoming the Old Guitarist, the title and subject of a Picasso’s paintings created during his blue period.
They put on a blue sweatshirt and sit cross-legged on a blue blanket and hold a guitar (a made a guitar out of foam core scaled to their body size). One group member uses a flip video camera to videotape while the other holds up the “cue card” for the actor. The actor reads, “I am the old guitarist. Pablo Picasso painted me when he was feeling sad. The last time I was playing the blues was when…” At this point the actor fills in the blank with a personal story. Then the students can switch roles if there is time.

The art room is a perfect place to reach all learners, not just the visual/spatial. So far my students have wowed me with their enthusiasm for this interactive learning experience. My role during this time is more of an eavesdropper spying on some excellent learning. Below is a video reflection on the use of Multiple Intelligence theory in my art room.

MI Class Reflection from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Teaching Palette guest blogger: Tricia Fuglestad
Dryden Elementary
Art Teacher
Arlington Heights, IL

Tricia Fuglestad, Art Teacher at Dryden Elementary School, Arlington Heights, IL uses technology to enhance learning in her art room.


  • May 24, 2010


    awesomeness! these are wonderful centers and i cannot wait to share them with my students! thank you!

  • […] to choose their online activity (resource page created by Hillary Andrlik). Picasso Carnival. This idea was developed by Tricia Fuglestad consisting of centers focused around Gardner’s multiple […]

  • September 22, 2010

    Verona Gridley

    This is fantastic. Wish I had read it before last terms Cultural Art Unit. I am inspired for our Scince Toys unit now.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • October 25, 2011

    Nancy Foxen

    WOW! I’m totally pumped after watching you and your students with all the NEAT ideas. I can’t wait to have FUN trying this with my kids! THANK YOU SO SO SO much for sharing. I just LOVE it!!!

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