Gifted Books, Gifted Readers: Literature Activities to Excite Young Minds

Gifted Books, Gifted Readers: Literature Activities to Excite Young Minds

Gifted Books, Gifted Readers: Literature Activities to Excite Young Minds

Gifted Books, Gifted Readers: Literature Activities to Excite Young Minds

Synopsis

Stretch young minds to creative and productive thought with some of the best literature currently available. Polette shows you how to promote critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving through building excitement for the reading experience and increasing students' active participation in learning. She offers suggestions for creative reproduction, elaboration, rearrangements and transformations of text to help children connect reading content to their own experiences. A wonderful resource for elementary and middle school teachers of the gifted, these books and activities can be used in any classroom. Also an important read for college-level courses on curriculum for the gifted and children's literature.

Excerpt

We are living today in a sea of words. Our children are bombarded from the day of their birth by radio, television, computers, cereal boxes, signs, and billboards. Children who are identified as gifted can hardly keep from becoming [letterate] unless pressures from home or classroom have built a wall of resistance to printed symbols. Many educators feel that when released from scholastic pressures gifted children would learn to read on their own, effortlessly. So the question arises, are we doing enough to build a society of individuals who are [literate] in the full sense of the word? When one considers the number of classroom hours spent on phonics, sight drills, basal texts, and other reading skills, in contrast to the number of true readers in our society, it becomes evident that [literacy] is a rather singular accomplishment, or soon will be.

But we are not helpless; writers with profound messages and artistic brilliance are focusing their creative talents in books particularly appropriate for gifted children. Although we cannot, however dedicated we are and no matter how hard we try, be in tune with all of the active mental meanderings and discoveries our gifted students are experiencing, we can lure gifted children to meet gifted writers. We can introduce them to those who through the centuries have spoken through the pages of literature to the greatness within those who are listening. Lively, creative minds are writing today as well, and we need but to get their works into children's hands.

There are those who would ask, [Do the gifted really need a literature program? Surely, children who started reading early and are already fluent in written language can find their own way.] Those of us who have gone down a rabbit hole, climbed the mast of a plunging schooner with a pirate hot on our tails, learned to breathe underwater on a Martian moon: Those of us who have done these things realize how narrow and bleak our lives would have been if untouched by these mind-stretching adventures. Beyond the skill of learning to read lies a land of vision and enchantment. A child who is never pointed in that direction may grow to adulthood literate in only the [letters] sense of the word, and with a sadly undernourished spirit.

A literature program can do much to enrich the lives of gifted children who might otherwise have no stimulus to strive for excellence. Competition in an average classroom can be suffocating or demanding to the sleeping intellectual.

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