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