Reading Projects for Gifted and Talented Students

By Keren Perles

If you teach reading to high-achieving students, you’ve probably considered giving them gifted and talented projects in reading class. These projects can help students connect more intimately with what they’ve read, and enable them to share the ideas from the books with others in original ways.

Extending the Story

Much-loved gifted and talented projects for many students include reading and writing stories. Tap into this interest by having students extend one of the stories that they’ve read. (For example, they could add a character to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.) Although there are endless ways to do this, the following are some ideas that many gifted and talented students enjoy:

  • Write an alternative ending for the story. What else might have happened?
  • Put the main character into a different story that you’ve read. How might the character have reacted to these different circumstances?
  • Write a prologue to the story. What might have happened days, or even years, before the story began?
  • Write a summary of the story in a different setting. How would the story be different? (Remember that setting includes both time and place).

Write in Different Genres

Another way to help expand the horizons of gifted and talented students is to have them to write in various genres. For example, you might have them write several newspaper articles on events that happened in a book that they’ve been reading. They might write a few blog posts, pretending to be one of the characters in the books, or a magazine article in which one of the characters is quoted as an expert source.

For students who enjoy artwork, consider having them write a comic version of the book or draw illustrations that might fit with various chapters. These reading projects allow them to see how the ideas in one book can be expressed in different ways.

Online Book Reviews

In today’s schools, many classrooms are connected to the Internet. If so, allow your gifted and talented students to become book reviewers. Many websites (including Amazon), allow people to review books that they’ve read. These gifted and talented projects bring the typical “book report" to an entirely new level, and students will enjoy feeling like they can influence other people on whether to read the book.

These ideas should help you to engage your gifted students in reading. If you have any other tips then please post a comment and let us know.

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