Teaching, Engaging, and Inspiring Extraverted Intuitives

Why flipping Blooms Taxonomy is more effective in predominantly- intuitive classrooms.

By Jen Lilienstein


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One of my favorite quotes on personality type—particularly as it relates to learning—comes directly from the MBTI Manual, which states, “In dealing with people, when we keep their type in mind, we are respecting not only their abstract right to develop along lines of their own choosing, but also the importance of qualities they have developed by making that choice (Myers, Isabel Briggs, McCaulley, Mary H., Quenk, Naomi L., Hammer, Allen L. 1998).”

It’s not that your students can’t learn if you come at the subject from a different angle or can’t learn with the approach that you are using. It’s like an eight-room house. While you need to visit all of the rooms in your house on occasion, you most likely have one “zen zone”—the place you want to spend the majority of your time. As you tune into class and pupil personality types when you plan curriculum, your learners will enjoy learning more. And isn’t that what we’re all, as educators, really hoping for? For me, when I can stretch students just outside their own comfort zones and make learning fun in the process, I am better able inspire kids to develop an appetite for learning both inside and outside school walls.

Instruction Content

Consistently focused on the big picture, extraverted-intuitive pupils come alive when an instructor focuses on the forest view before zooming into the detail found on trees. If you’ve got an overwhelmingly intuitive class mix, think about flipping Blooms Taxonomy when lesson planning. Start with synthesis and big connections, then move down toward knowledge practice. Keep in mind that specific facts and details will be challenging for your intuitive learners, so you may need to spend more time making certain that they glean all the nitty-gritty from your lessons.

Extraverted Intuitives naturally tend to focus on the immediate future, so whatever you can do as a teacher to help them stay present, reflect on the past, or look past the next step will serve them well in the future.

Consider how you can incorporate “frequent changes of pace” into the school day as Extraverted Intuitives “become impatient and bored when…work is slow and unchanging (Hirsh & Kummerow 1989).” Inventive and entrepreneurial, lesson plans that showcase “ways of doing things that are not immediately obvious” (Hirsh, Hirsh & Hirsh 2003) will be most appealing to your ENP students.

What’s most exciting about extraverted-intuitive pupils is that they are interested in everything. The challenge is keeping them focused on what you are teaching right now.

Process and Techniques

Develop curriculum that allows your ENP learners to explore and attempt new or different ways to reach solutions.

Like all extraverts, Extraverted Intuitives may irritate their introverted and sensing peers by “talking too much or randomly interjecting ideas” or attempting to persuade others “to follow a plan without a thorough investigation of facts and specifics (Hirsh, Hirsh, & Hirsh2003).”

Whenever possible, allow your ENP scholars to analyze and synthesize the class points of view during group discussions. It is important that you weave together work with play as much as possible in an extraverted-intuitive classroom.

One of the best resources I can recommend with respect to how an Extraverted Intuitive likes to think is A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, which gives specific details about the types of tasks that Extraverted Intuitives particularly enjoy. A quick read through the PORTFOLIO aspects of each chapter will give you a wealth of lesson planning ideas that will motivate and inspire your extraverted-intuitive learners.

Work Product

Your extraverted-intuitive scholars may “drop current, unfinished projects in the excitement of discovering a new possibility.” Further, they tend to “get sidetracked a lot…[and] may get distracted by the possibilities suggested to them by the data (Haas and Hunziker 2006).” Whatever strategies you can recommend that can help rein in this tendency will serve them well throughout their lives.

When you send homework home with an extraverted-intuitive child, be sure to be very specific about what the assignment is, as they tend to jump from idea to idea rapidly and may end up with a jumble of not well-thought-out ideas along a variety of pathways.

Getting to closure or consensus is the toughest task for an intuitive. Whatever skills you can give them to complete projects—even if they see the task as an interim completion versus a final attempt—will serve them well.

Keep in mind that, for your Extraverted Intuitives, “making mistakes is not a big deal (Haas & Hunziker 2006).”

For a free tool to help determine the personality types of your individual pupils and class as a whole, click here.

Types of Lessons Extraverted Intuitives Would Enjoy:

A Weave of Words

Focus on vocabulary, comprehension, and analysis while reading A Weave of Woods, a colorful picture book by Robert D. San Souci. Young scholars use worksheets to preview, predict, practice paraphrase, and make comparisons. The richly detailed plan includes reading charts, comprehension and interpretative questions, and extension activities.  

Walk in the Tundra

The Exchange aspect of this lesson plan is certain to engage your extraverted-intuitive pupils. The focus is the story, A Walk in the Tundra by Rebecca L. Johnson. After reading the story, learners answer cause and effect questions, discuss Latin and Greek roots, and engage in sequencing activities.

Building Brilliant Bar Graphs

Blending work with play in this activity will stimulate all of your perceiving scholars. Learners taste pretzels, shoot baskets (switching off hands), and grab candy, graphing results collaboratively. Entry activities are available for each day, and differentiation helps both scholars having difficulty and those moving quickly.

Three Little Pigs in Earthquake Land

Explore the basics of earthquakes and volcanoes. Using this information, pupils brainstorm how people in cities must prepare for these types of disasters. They are read the story "Three Little Pigs" and discuss the importance of having sturdy buildings. They draw pictures or write a letter to the pigs telling them how to prepare their home for an earthquake.


Hirsh, Sandra Krebs and Kummerow, Jean. 1989. “Life Types.”

Hirsh, Elizabeth, Kirsh, Katherine W., and Hirsh, Sandra Krebs. 2003. “Introduction to Type and Teams.”

Haas, Leona, and Hunziker, Mark. 2006. “Building Blocks of Personality Type."

Myers, Isabel Briggs, McCaulley, Mary H., Quenk, Naomi L., Hammer, Allen L. 1998. "MBTI Manual."