As I watched my class frolicking in the snow, joyfully stomping in the puddles and investigating the bark on the trunks of the three trees we were measuring, it occured to me that -- not by design so much, but rather by accident almost -- this lesson was the perfect marriage of math and multiple intelligences - Naturalist intelligence!
Although I believe in the importance of honouring the "nature-smart" students in my class and nurturing this intelligence in students in whom it seems sadly underdeveloped, I have had trouble doing so in ways that are well, "natural" rather than contrived.
Apart from the occasional "nature walk" as part of our studies of the community, or a nature-based Art project now and then, the truth is that unless there is a clear curriculum focus (such as "Soils" or "Plants" in Grade 3 Science, or "Aboriginals" in Grades 3 and 6 Social Studies), my students' adventures in Nature have been sadly limited.
Today, my class was "doing" both math and nature. They were being careful of the bark as they gently wrapped the string around the tree trunk to take a measurement, and they were excited about the discoveries they made, not just because they like to use their new-found measuring skills, but because they like the TREES they were measuring.
A lesson like today's encourages me to attempt more in the future. Authentic integration of MI can be done afterall, apparently!