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1 The Importance of Books and Reading for Gifted Children Books are an ideal way to respond to characteristics and needs of gifted children. ---Halsted.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Importance of Books and Reading for Gifted Children Books are an ideal way to respond to characteristics and needs of gifted children. ---Halsted."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Importance of Books and Reading for Gifted Children Books are an ideal way to respond to characteristics and needs of gifted children. ---Halsted (2009) Janet L. Gore, M.A., M.Ed. Great Potential Press P.O. Box 5057 Scottsdale, AZ (602)

2 2 Characteristics of Gifted Children  Complex sentence structures  Unusually large vocabularies  Greater comprehension of language  Longer attention span, persistence  Intensity of feelings and actions  Wide range of interests  Strong curiosity; limitless questions  Like to experiment; put ideas or things together in unusual ways

3 Their Intellectual Needs AS Social and Emotional Needs  Gifted children who are not challenged are not happy and do not feel fulfilled. 3

4 Their Intellectual Needs ARE Some of Their Social and Emotional Needs  It is important that parents and teachers see that intellectual development is a requirement for these children and not merely a phase. 4

5 Social and Emotional Needs  They enjoy “work”  Work is important to them  They need and enjoy challenge  They have a drive to understand  They are often more introverted than others  They are often non-conforming  They need and appreciate alone time 5

6 Social-Emotional Differences  They live with ambivalence (highs, lows)  They recognize early that they are different  They have high sensitivity, intensity  They are unusually aware of moral issues…  They strive for perfection 6

7 Some Special Needs of Gifted  Relationships with others  Recognizing differences  Taking risks  Accepting dissonance between expectations vs. performance  Coping with impatience  Forming identity  Time alone Buescher (1985) 7

8 How Books Help Them Cope 8 Others have felt different and alone Others have taken risks… Others have been afraid… Others are sensitive… Others are searching for identity … I am not the only one, then. Phew!

9 GIFTED CHILDREN AND CHALLENGING BOOKS GO TOGETHER! 9

10  Books should be challenging to gifted readers. They should stretch vocabulary, have complex, unresolved plots and contain challenging literary elements like metaphor, flashbacks, etc.  Characters should be experiencing some of the same issues as the child: making friends, establishing identity, dealing with intensity, perfectionism, etc. 10 Selecting Books

11 Look for Books with These Themes:  Aloneness  Identity  Friendships  Moral concerns  Introversion  Intensity  Creativity  Perfectionism  Arrogance  Achievement  Resilience  Sensitivity  Drive to Understand 11

12 Books Can Help Gifted Children Establish an Identity Books Can Help Gifted Children Establish an Identity 12

13 How Books Can Help Characters in the book may be dealing with some of the same issues as the child (Making friends, establishing an identity, feeling alone or different, intensity, perfectionism, making decisions) 13

14 When We Discuss a Book… Individual or group discussion can lead to fresh insights that will help the child cope with situations in his or her own life. (Halsted, 2009, p. 104) 14

15 Bibliotherapy  A process of dynamic interaction between the personality of the reader and literature… 15

16 Reading Aloud  We should never stop reading aloud, according to Halsted  Research shows that television time increases soon after parents stop reading aloud  Parents who read aloud find literature that children might not find on their own  By reading daily, you can remain active in your children’s intellectual lives, expand awareness of the world, and whet appetite to read more 16

17 Reading Aloud  Books Kids Will Sit Still For: A Read-Aloud Guide, (2006)  Books Kids Will Sit Still For: A Read-Aloud Guide, 2 nd Edition (1995) Judy Freeman 17

18 Children Will Gladly Listen to More Advanced Literature than They Can Read Themselves.  Little House series  Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer  Old Ramon  Hiroshima  Harry Potter series  The Midwife’s Apprentice  Criss Cross  Life As We Knew It  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American SLave 18

19 Bibliotherapy The Process:  Select an appropriate book  Read the book and develop questions  Introduce the book to the child  After reading, enjoy an open-ended discussion 19

20 This is a pleasant way of helping children think and talk about situations they may face – because they are talking about someone else. It’s non-threatening. 20

21 Great Book Discussions Can Occur at Home or at School  A small group in regular classroom  Teacher or librarian leads discussion  Copy of book for each child in group  A quiet place to meet and talk  Parents can do this at home 21

22 Developmental Bibliotherapy  When children learn and grow socially and emotionally from reading and discussing books with others, we call it developmental bibliotherapy.  We could also call it simply … Guided Reading Guided Reading 22

23 Fundamentals  “The right book for the right child at the right time…”  “Each stage of childhood lasts a short time and so does the peak response to the literature appropriate to that age.  “Parents are in the best position to offer long-range reading guidance. Teachers see the child usually for only one year. Halsted (2009), p. 75 Halsted (2009), p

24 What about Escape Reading? Not everything has to be serious. Escape reading is fine if we recognize it for what it is But lightweight reading will not bear the weight of the kind of discussion we propose here. --Halsted (2009) --Halsted (2009) 24

25 Introducing the Book  Explain why you chose the book, what you like about it, and why you think the child will enjoy it – and stir in a little mystery to arouse curiosity.  Does a character remind you of your child or a situation remind you of an experience? Avoid saying, “I want you to read this book because I think you have a problem ….” 25

26 Discussion Is Open Ended  Discussion should be open-ended, helping the child to see why things work out as they do in this book.  There is the possibility of other options.  Each reader can add components from his own life that the author did not include.  This way, the book lives on in the reader. 26

27 For Example…  How did this family react?  Why did the family become more isolated?  Was this a good plan?  How did the different characters handle stress?  In what ways did each one grow? Life as We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer Life as We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer 27

28 Developing Open- Ended Questions  Why did _________act as she did?  What would you have done?  How did ____ feel in that difficult situation?  Why did ____happen?  What do you think about the book? Not the “what happened” questions 28

29 Not Just for Problems…  Book discussion builds strengths:  Analytical skills  Heightened sensitivity  Ability to see relationships  Ability to draw conclusions  Ability to synthesize & evaluate  Positive use of self awareness 29

30 30  Many bright and gifted people suppress or hide their need to learn.  Teaching children to use books is one way to demonstrate that learning is important and books can be an important part of their lives  If reading and book discussions are pleasant, successful experiences, children learn to love books. -- Halsted (2009), p.72 More about Why

31 For Example… The Little Engine That Could  Remember the sweet, simple lesson about perseverance in this book? The Story of Ferdinand  Do you know people who are different but seem to be happy anyway? 31

32 Children Will Gladly Listen to More Advanced Literature than They Can Read Themselves.  Little House series  Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer  Old Ramon  Hiroshima  Harry Potter series  The Midwife’s Apprentice  Criss Cross  Life As We Knew It  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave 32

33 Kindergarten to 2 nd Grade Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Learning that tomorrow will be better is a step toward maturity. Parents can talk about their own bad days. 33

34 Story Hour Leads to…  Story hour – K-2.  Teachers should read aloud daily throughout elementary school – K-6.  As they become independent readers, children check out books from the library.  Some find favorite authors.  By 5 th grade many begin to read information books. Boys like books about snakes, etc. Girls often like horses. 34

35 Upper Elementary Because of Winn-Dixie What guidelines for making friends are suggested in this story? Do you agree? What would you change? Themes: Themes: Relationships with othersRelationships with others ResilienceResilience 35

36 Upper Elementary  Harriet the Spy Harriet uses her ability in ways that give others reason to dislike her.Harriet uses her ability in ways that give others reason to dislike her. Do you know anyone who does this?Do you know anyone who does this? What are the disadvantages of doing so?What are the disadvantages of doing so? How can people change?How can people change? What will help Harriet use her ability more positively?What will help Harriet use her ability more positively? 36

37 Upper Elementary  Don’t Feed the Monster on Tuesdays! Imagine a monster inside our heads making us feel bad about ourselves – badImagine a monster inside our heads making us feel bad about ourselves – bad self-talk. But on Tuesdays we say only nice things to ourselves and othersself-talk. But on Tuesdays we say only nice things to ourselves and others One of a series of books by this author– on stress, anger, grief, lying.One of a series of books by this author– on stress, anger, grief, lying. Adolph Moser (1991) Adolph Moser (1991) 37

38 A Healthy Self Image  Accepting oneself  Acknowledging abilities  Integrating giftedness with self-concept  Understanding one’s own gifted characteristics  Recognizing advantages of high ability  Realizing that high intelligence also requires training and discipline 38

39 Middle School  The Midwife’s Apprentice  A fascinating and vivid picture of medieval life  The complex process of a girl’s coming of age What personal qualities does Alyce need to go from homeless beggar to being apprentice?What personal qualities does Alyce need to go from homeless beggar to being apprentice? Which of these are also needed by young people today?Which of these are also needed by young people today? 39

40 Middle School  The Gifted Kids Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook In a conversational tone, the authors discuss adolescence in general including drugs and sex and suicide, then give tips on relationships, friends, perfectionism, using one’s ability, handling teasing. In a conversational tone, the authors discuss adolescence in general including drugs and sex and suicide, then give tips on relationships, friends, perfectionism, using one’s ability, handling teasing. 40

41 High School  Ironman Bo uses running to help cope with strains in the relationship between him and his father. Bo uses running to help cope with strains in the relationship between him and his father. People sometimes hide their story. People sometimes hide their story. By the end of the book, how has Bo’s relationship with his dad changed? By the end of the book, how has Bo’s relationship with his dad changed? 41

42 High School  Madame Curie The book presents the rich intellectual world of well educated children growing up in Poland a century ago The book presents the rich intellectual world of well educated children growing up in Poland a century ago How did Marie show resilience? How did Marie show resilience? What helped her to cope? What helped her to cope? How important was her family? How important was her family? 42

43 43 Many bright and gifted people suppress or hide their need to learn. Many bright and gifted people suppress or hide their need to learn. Teaching children to use books is one way to demonstrate that learning is important and books can be an important part of their lives Teaching children to use books is one way to demonstrate that learning is important and books can be an important part of their lives If reading and book discussions are pleasant, successful experiences, children learn to love books. If reading and book discussions are pleasant, successful experiences, children learn to love books. -- Halsted (2009) p Halsted (2009) p.72 More about Why

44 Book Lists  Halsted, Judith. Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers, 3 rd ed. (2009) Great Potential Press. Hauser, Paula &Nelson, Gail. (1988) Books for the Gifted Child, Vol. 2. Bowker. Silvey, Anita. Great Books for Teens.(2006) 44

45 Resources about Reading Good Books  PowerPoint presentation on reading by Susannah Richards  \http://www.iusd.k12.ca.us/parent_resourc es/gate/documents/IrvineTalented20072pa ge.pdf 45

46 Other Resources  Children’s Literature Web Guide.  Hoagies Gifted Information Page.  Outstanding Books for the College Bound: standingbooks/outstandingbooks.htm 46

47 47 Lessons From People Who Later Became Eminent  Their homes usually were full of books and stimulating conversation  Their families valued learning, and the children loved learning  As children, most of them disliked school and schoolteachers

48 48 People Who Became Eminent Findings from Cradles of Eminence (cont) These children learned to think and express themselves clearly Cradles of Eminence: Childhoods of More Than 700 Famous Men and Women (Goertzel, Goertzel, Goertzel, and Hansen, 2003

49 If They Lose Interest… E.g., get involved in computers, sports, video games Or, resent being told what to read 49

50 Go to Young Adult Fiction  A fast-growing area for ages  Written by adult fiction authors who write also for teens & pre-teens  Teens want “interesting” and “exciting,” not what they find in their basal readers  One solution is to move away from the school basal reader and use trade YA fiction  And parents can encourage reading with frequent trips to the library and bookstore 50

51 Transition to Adult Literature  “As they begin transition to adult literature, young people need reading guidance more than at any other time.” Girls may gravitate toward simplistic romanceGirls may gravitate toward simplistic romance Boys may gravitate to violent adventureBoys may gravitate to violent adventure “If they don’t learn the difference between sentimental or sensational novels and good literature at this age, chances are slim they will develop into mature readers.” Halsted (2009) p. 87Halsted (2009) p

52 Non-fiction Non-fiction helps with standardized tests; it builds skill with expository prose. There is a wealth of non-fiction books available. available. 52

53 Fiction &Non-fiction Students who spend more time reading— fiction as well as non-fiction—earn higher scores on college entrance exams. 53

54 54 The Importance of Books Books have tremendous potential for helping highly able children to understand themselves and become all that they can be.


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