1st Edition

Challenging Units for Gifted Learners Teaching the Way Gifted Students Think (Language Arts, Grades 6-8)

By Kenneth J. Smith Copyright 2010
    192 Pages
    by Prufrock Press

    Gifted students have the potential to learn material earlier and faster, to handle more complexity and abstraction, and to solve complex problems better. This potential, however, needs stimulating experiences from home and school or it will not unfold. The books in the Challenging Units for Gifted Learners series are designed to help teachers provide the stimulating curricula that will nurture this potential in school. The units presented in this series are based on research into how these students actually think differently from their peers and how they use their learning styles and potential not merely to develop intellectual expertise, but to move beyond expertise to the production of new ideas.

    The Language Arts book includes units that ask students to develop strong personalities for their main characters while writing mysteries, to study Freud's psychoanalytic theory and then analyze a classic novel using what they've learned, to focus on writing from a specific point of view, and to increase their appreciation for poetry by studying famous poets.

    Grades 6-8

    Acknowledgements Chapter 1Introduction: We Are Intellectual Archeologists Chapter 2 What Are They Thinking? The Cognitive Processes of Gifted Learners Chapter 3 A Mystery Writing Project Chapter 4. A Freudian Analysis of Literature Chapter 5The Point of View Writing Project Chapter 6 Poems From Nature References About the Author Common Core State Standards Alignment


    Kenneth J. Smith, Ph.D., works at Sunset Ridge School District 29 in Northfield, IL, a suburb of Chicago. He currently runs the district-wide enrichment program. In 1995, Ken earned his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Columbia University in New York. He was an American Memories fellow for the Library of Congress, and his articles have appeared in The Middle School Journal and Gifted Child Today.

    Smith takes each of these complex, "ill-defined problems" and breaks them down into well-constructed units. He introduces each unit with a research-based "cognitive connection" and then transitions into step-by-step, teacher-friendly lessons...I really appreciate the creativity of the units combined with the simplicity of the daily lessons. It's the exact formula that I feel teachers need. Plus, these units will truly challenge my 6th graders. I'm so used to having to increase the rigor of all my curriculum, it's quite a great feeling to plug something right into my schedule and not feel like I'm shortchanging my students.,Ian Byrd,Byrdseed Gifted, 2/9/11
    Having personally witnessed Dr. Smith and Mrs. Stonequist's outstanding gifts in the implementation and teaching of many of these units first-hand, I was excited to learn that the units were committed to a formal writing process and published so that students across our county might benefit from their wisdom. Drawing upon his research work in cognitive psychology from Columbia University in New York, Dr. Smith enlightens readers on the different ways in which gifted learners think and process information and how to reach gifted learners in different ways.,Dr. Howard J. Bultinck,Northeastern Illinois University, 3/14/11
    Challenging Units for Gifted Learners: Teaching the Way Gifted Students Think - Language Arts is a supplemental resource designed for language arts educators of gifted students in grades 6-8. The suggested writing projects are designed to help challenge students to reach their full potential in problem-solving, character building, and story creation. From studying Freud's psychoanalytic theory and applying it to the analysis of a classic novel, to learning how to build vivid, lifelike characters when writing mysteries, to writing nature poetry, the suggested curriculum ideas are broken down into step-by-step individual lessons. An excellent educational guide, highly recommended.,Midwest Book Review, 7/1/10