Gifted and Talented Education Teacher Resources

Find Gifted and Talented Education educational ideas and activities

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Learning about literature can be so much fun; it can also be made more accessible through projects and dramatic play. As they explore theme, character, and setting, the class gets creative and makes a dramatic recreation of a classic fairy tale. There are three activity ideas here that will enhance any literature lesson plan on theme. In activity one, they create puppets and put on a fairy tale adaptation play. In activity two, they change the setting of a classic fairy tale to modern times, and in the third activity, they compare and contrast two similar fairy tales from different countries. These activities would work on their own, as a part of a unit, or as a differentiated learning option for advanced students.
Can knowing about things of the past help predict the types of things seen in the future? Advanced learners consider the idea that things extend. In other words, concrete things like bridges and intangible things like ideas extend from one time to another. They research objects from the past that are seen today, yet have changed because of how they have been extended or altered by present people. Then, they apply that idea as they create a classroom of the future where today's objects are things of the past. A very cool way to get those creative brains bubbling. 
Over the course of a week, the class will study how monsters are portrayed throughout literature. But why? Monsters in science fiction or horror often depict the darker side of human nature; they are described for their horrific physical characteristics that act as metaphorical realizations of their maladjusted human character traits. The class is split into four groups, each group will create a play based on the monsters they create, the plays are performed and then one of the monsters will be put on trial and judged for his crimes. Note: Kids tend to get out of hand and silly when creating fictitious or fantastic characters, this lesson will help ground them in the need for complex character development.
Make critical and creative thinkers out of your class, with an archeology-based project they'll love. They start the activity by first researching what archeologists do, then they generate a list of the qualities archeologists need to be successful. In small groups, they research an ancient time or place and choose five artifacts from the chosen era and determine how they could use context clues to determine the artifacts' purpose and age. Each group writes a play depicting archeologists at work in the field and in the lab.
This lesson is hilarious! To understand how to investigate a topic, collect data, and evaluate the results, learners research the effects of laughter on health. Each group is assigned a research task, which they will turn into role-playing scenarios that test and support their findings. The activity concludes as the children create a school-wide survey based on the data they collected and posters that promote health through humor. 
Robots and their interactions with their human counterparts are the catalyst for a fun writing instructional activity. First, the class brainstorms what they'd like to have their personal robot do or be capable of. Then, they each write a humorous story about life with their robot. Each child reads his story to the class in order to practice content delivery and public speaking skills. A class discussion about delivering humorous content follows student readings.
The best part about this resource is that you've got four wonderful activities to choose from. Each of the projects can work together or on its own to help learners understand the history of math and how it can be seen every day. In activity one, they research a mathematician and report on how their discovery changed the way people think. Then, in groups of three, they choose one of the mathematicians and write a script that involves teaching the great discovery. Finally, they keep a 24-hour log, recording eveything they encounter that requires or involves math. The last activity has each child use a mathematical certainty as the basis for a math story, which will be written, illustrated, and bound in a book for younger children to read. 
The classical arts have made a lasting impact on our society and your advanced learners get to find out why. The activity starts as the children create a list of the arts found in society, they discuss how these art forms impact their lives and define the differences between classical and popular art. Each small group is assigned an art form from the class list; they will research the history and social impact of that art form and present their findings using the art form as the presentation medium. The whole class takes on the role of art critic as they critically examine the effectiveness and artistic skill of each small group performance. Activity-based learning, based on classical art forms, fantastic!
Got a rainy day and need a few fabulous activities to foster creative thinking skills? The class works to understand the three types of human power; direct, indirect, and stored. They do this by first creating a parade float like the ones used in ancient Greece during the sixth century. Then, they write a story about human power, and they also play a game which explores the ideas of human power. Finally, they attempt to re-design or create a human-powered machine that does the same job as a mechanical one. These are some wonderful ideas here that foster critical and creative thinking, science, and the design process.
Is there a way to connect creative thinking, logical reasoning, mathematical understanding, and humor? You bet there is! Kids begin by creating creative math quizzes, which require creative thinking to solve. For example, 1+1=24, one equals a dozen so 24 would be the answer. Then they each write a creative story that revolves around a math lesson, which can acutally be taught. The stories are compiled and presented to younger middle schoolers. The activity culminates in a reflective survey and a discussion on the effectivness of creative thinking being used to augment regular math instruction.
Humans love to communicate and they do it in so many different ways. The class investigates how people have used new inventions and technological innovations to communicate. They are divided into groups of three or four and given the task of  taping themselves communicating in a non-verbal way. They watch their videos and discuss the effectiveness of their chosen communication style. Each group then researches and writes a report on a different pioneer in communication such as Samuel Morse or Alexander Graham Bell. Finally, each group selects a currently used communication device and writes a lesson on how it functions and how it is best used to communicate. The lessons are taught to the entire class. Note: Each of these activities would work great on their own or integrated into an entire unit on invention or communication.
There is a difference between profit and revenue, and it's up to your class to find out why. They each research the public accounting documents for their favorite company or brand. Then they use their findings to discuss the differences between profit and revenue and how it relates to the concept of financial balance. They build an actual balancing device and keep track of their weekly costs and credits to understand the philosophy of balance. Note: These activities are supplemental and are intended to extend the critical thinking of advanced learners.
Statements can be taken out of context and interpreted or used to support a very different view than the one originally intended. Young journalists start thinking about leading questions, sentence structure, context, and how they all play into what they read in the newspaper. The class reads and discusses how an article uses survey results to support its position, then they consider what types of questions were used to culminate in the desired results. They create a misleading survey and use it to write their own article in the class newsletter. 
Challenge your class with an amazing set of ideas that really put the project back into project-based learning. It all starts with a whole class research task. Each learner will look up and take notes on multiple facets of things that affect the earth's changes. In small groups they will create artistic displays about the earth, which will be shown exhibition style. Four different project ideas and an evaluation are outlined.
Here are three great group project ideas to reinforce the concepts of velocity, transportation, and energy. In small groups, learners construct adjustable ramps, predict, and then test to determine the affects of altering velocity, ramp angle, and vehicle weight. They discuss energy types and sources and how substituting a new energy source would change the functioning of their vehicles. The day's activities culminate when each child researches the evolution of one mode of transportation, through a timeline that begins in the year 1800 and ends in the year 2105. Neat stuff!
Geometry is everywhere, and I mean everywhere! Those skillful mathematicians discuss shapes and then come up with a well-researched list of shapes seen in everyday applications. They put their knowledge of shapes to work as each small group takes a component of the world's tallest building and attempts to create a structure taller than the other teams have created. Any one of these ideas would be great for introducing or extending a basic shape lesson for your advanced learners. 
Literature circles, and other similar methods, provide cooperative learning opportunities.
In this 4-Hl leadership skill activity set, students examine different types of leadership styles. They determine what type of leader they are by completing a questionnaire, determine how they handle conflict, examine service ideas and resources, and determine how to improve their leadership skills.
Students explore various shapes in the world around them. In this shapes lesson, students read books, identify shapes by sides and corners, and draw shapes in sand, sugar, or flour. Extension activities are included.
Challenge your smartest kids with these engaging, fascinating puzzles that require real outside-the-box thinking to solve!

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