Creativity, Gifted Education, literacy, teaching

Adding challenge to a passion project

Passion projects are a bit of a buzz word and can be lots of fun for students to take part in – they get to choose what they study and also how the present it.

But are they learning?

When we create passion projects we need to make sure that there is:

  • Challenge
  • Limited amount of ‘googling’
  • Questions that extend beyond the basic facts for more able students

I have used KAPLAN prompts to drive my students towards more challenge in their projects – to seek the how and the why and question why things just are!

Please feel free to download this resource to use in your classroom today

Creativity, Gifted Education, literacy, teaching

Encouraging creative thinking

All children need to be encouraged to think creatively but our gifted learners are able to really go beyond what we imagine the responses to be.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Having a weekly prompt to encourage more than just creative writing helps with not only creative thinking but also problem solving, independent ideas, collaborative planning and working on ideas and concepts outside of our comfort zome.

There are many great resources on the internet to show students for a ‘power 30 minute creative thinking time’. This thinning time could be:

  • Design a new way
  • Create a way to convince others we need this in our every day lives
  • Change this so that the viewpoint is seen from someone we would not expect
  • Write an advertisement
  • Write a jingle
  • Write a story about the object.

Shaun Tan’s Oppsatoreum is an excellent tool to use for your Gifted students. In this book Shaun Tan has worked in collaboration with The Powerhouse Museum to engage readers in some odd objects.

These objects are part of the museum’s collection and although they do look odd, they are often fairly simple and boring in their original description. 

Instead of outlining the facts about the objects, Shaun Tan has created a story about the object to make it much more unusual and fun!

Imagine an ear piece which is now a love trumpet or a jar for leeches and honey which is not a literacy tester!

The possibilities are endless and you will have a lot of fun not only reading Shaun Tan’s descriptions but also coming up with your own! 

Gifted Education, literacy

Adding Depth and Complexity to your writing program

Asking open ended questions-2

Many teachers often look at this concept and worry that they will have to overhaul their whole program to make this happen – but never fear! You do not!

As you peruse over the writing program you have, consider how:

  •  You can vary the types of text you expose the students to according to their talents and needs.
  •  Make the lessons link to real life
  •  Group students so they can work with like minded peers
  • Make time so that they are supported by the teacher on a regular basis, not just left for independent work because they are more able.

I have included some further explanation below with examples and ideas. As always, if you are keen for further support please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Vanessaryanrendall@gmail.com

Expose students to more texts of different complexity, different topics and different formats.

  • Look for patterns within these different texts. Explore how they are engaging, how the language assists the text.
  • Compare the voice of the authors.
  • Critique these – do they really convince you? Engage you?
  • Find what students like about the different texts and how they can use some of the language to improve their writing.

Peer mentoring

  • Work with like minded students to read over each other’s work.

Teacher mentoring

  • Set aside time to support your bright and gifted students to work through raising the bar in their writings

Make it real

  • Find a way to make this text type real. What sort of audience could the students write for?
  • Narrative – writing competition, school newsletter, convert into a performance or picture book
  • Exposition/Discussion – send the letter to local MP, council, PM, class debate
  • Poetry – writing competitions, slam poetry competition in school, newsletter, christmas card insert 
  • Information report – write and then change into a documentary, present to class or leadership, assembly, school newsletter.
  • Explanation – Create a documentary, present to class
  • Recount – Artwork could be created from this and displayed
  • Review – create a blog where books/products are regularly reviewed by the class. 

Give structure so they understand what is expected. 

  • Gifted and bright students still need to understand how they set out different text types but offer them more advanced options through extra paragraphs, comparisons within their text, catchy starts and finishes through rhetorical questions etc.
  • Word banks that are at their stage level and then at their ability level.
  • Brainstorm various themes they could write about
Creativity, Gifted Education, literacy, teaching

A literacy lesson and more on Myths from different cultures…

In Year 3 this term I am embarking on teaching students about myths from different cultures and times.

This week we started on what a myth is and how to tell the difference between a myth, legend, folktale and fairytale.

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But what made this lesson higher order is what we did next.

Choose a natural phenomenon and find as many myths as you can about that phenomenon

Myths about the Sun

 

Key Questions using the KAPLAN Model for Depth and complexity

 

  • BIG IDEAS- What are the big ideas behind the telling of this myth?
  • PATTERNS – Are there similar patterns throughout the different myths?
  • UNANSWERED QUESTIONS – What was the characters motive? What was the purpose of the sun before this myth? Why was this myth created?
  • CHANGES OVER TIME – Has the myth changed over time? How are our viewpoints of this natural phenomenon influenced today?

 

Have you taught myths in your classroom? I would love to know what you have done!

Click to access Kaplan-Depth-and-Complexity-1y4xdgk.pdf