Gifted and talented students have a higher capacity for learning than their peers. Because of this enhanced academic ability, these students commonly are not challenged by the academic activities presented to the general class. To ensure these students receive the enrichment necessary to thrive, teachers can provide them with higher-level activities that challenge and intrigue these highly skilled students.
Allow gifted and talented students to play a role in their own education by engaging them in the creation of a self-directed portfolio. Instruct the student to select a topic to study. This topic can be scientific, historical or even social in nature. The only rule is that it should be something in which the student has a keen interest. Help the student gather books and other media and learn about the topic. Then, allow the student to create a representation of his understanding by writing a story, composing an essay, creating a work of art or producing any other product of his choice. Place this work in his portfolio.
Continue to allow the student to select and study his own topics, making his education unique to him and allowing him the opportunity to be guided by his interest, in any direction he selects.
School Improvement Plan
Invite the gifted student to consider a way in which the school community could be beautified by developing a school improvement plan. Allow the student to select something about the school that he would like to change. This could be anything from the standard school lunch menu to the sports facilities. Ask the student to research the area that he selected and create a plan for improvement. Assist the student in creating a draft of his improvement plan and even planning out a budget that outlines how much the improvement would cost. To conclude the project, allow the student the opportunity to present his plan to the school principal or other school officials.
Transform the student into the teacher by engaging her in the creation of a video tutorial. Allow the student to write a lesson in which she explains a concept that she understands clearly to her peers. Create a digital recording of the student giving this lesson, and transfer the recording onto the computer. Allow the student to use iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to edit the recording and turn it into a polished video product. Invite other teachers to use the lesson in their teaching, or share it with students who are struggling with the topic.
- yellow pencils image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com