Teaching Gifted Children: Ideas, Tips & Lesson Plans

By Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

Whether it is the beginning of a new school year or close to the end of the final semester, educators are always searching for information on new activities, lesson plans and projects for advanced learners. This guide is chock-full of information dedicated to advanced learners.

Identifying Advanced Learners

How do educators or parents identify advanced learners? Parents are usually the first to identify a learner of this nature. ChildrenWho Are the Gifted Learners?  who read at an early age, for instance, are more likely to be placed in classes for the gifted students. Within the public school system, there is a set procedure for assessing the ability of students. This guide to gifted and talented teaching resources begins with several articles that look at the various aspects of this question.

Supporting Advanced Learners

Unfortunately, in many states and school systems, the lack of funding has limited the access to classes for students termed, "gifted and talented." What happens when these students do not receive the support they need and deserve? Are there specific things teachers and parents can do to help students, even when gifted and talented programs are lacking or unavailable? What does the world gain when advanced learners are nurtured and supported?

Lessons Specifically for Advanced Learners

Educators, regardless of grade level, find it helpful to have lesson plans specifically created for students with exceptional abilities. This is especially true if the school system does not have programming for gifted and talented students. Lessons that capture advanced learners' imaginations, inspiring them to step out of their comfort zones to investigate, research, create, develop and produce assignments that are evidence of their best work are imperative. Here are some engaging lessons for the advanced learner.

Enrichment and Other Programs

Even if schools have classes specifically for advanced learners, parents and teachers might want to encourage participation in extracurricular enrichment programs, summer school/camp or other activities that will nurture the gifts and talents of their child or student. Check out these ideas for enriching the gifts and talents of advanced learners.

Issues and Problems

Advanced learners often have problems that other students do not have, simply because they are so bright. Both parents and teachers find it difficult to deal with the advanced learner's restlessness in the classroom when they become bored as well as their feelings of inadequacy because their peers tease them. The following articles offer information on these issues.

Assessing Advanced Learners

Assessing a student with exceptional talents can sometimes be difficult, simply because they score off the rubric. Developing various means of assessing, other than standardized testing, helps give both the student and the teacher a clear idea of progress gained.

Other Tips and Ideas

Methods and strategies for teaching vary across the curriculum, within the school district and around the world. No one way is best. Therefore, learning various ways to teach and prepare lessons is extremely helpful to educators, especially when teaching advanced learners. Here are a variety of different tips and ideas to add to your "bag of tricks."

Successful Teaching = Successful Students

Gifted and talented teaching resources are valuable tools for educators in today's diverse and inclusive classrooms. You need to be able to differentiate instruction to keep these learners engaged. You'll want to take into consideration each student's gifts and talents. It's important to create a classroom setting in which students become excited about learning. Keep these resources handy, because they are full of ideas to make your classroom for gifted children a truly dynamic place.

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