Young Gifted Children:Who?How do we know?What can they do when reading and writing? Denise Wood September 2011
Indecision She wears a colourful summery skirt A thick dark purple coat. Her house has a very dark blue roof And a lightyellow base Her shutters are half closed half open She likes to play with Crazy and Adventurous But every time she goes to see them She walks out the front door, Then thinks she should have Gone through the back door. She really would like to eat hot food But she prefers cold food . She loves to cook But normally eats out. She would do things in the weekend Except it takes till Monday to decide what. (Katrina, age 7)
Reflect (1) Create a concept map – how might you recognise a young gifted child?
Gifted children… Learn rapidly Remember details Have a wide vocabulary Create new ways of doing things Make connections Have an unusual sense of humour Enjoy learning Ask questions
Reflect again (2) In pairs: What would we notice about what a young gifted child knows? What would we notice about the way a gifted child understands their world? What would we notice about how a gifted child uses their knowledge and skills?
Reflect again .. (4) What would we notice about the way a gifted child manipulates and/or works with information? What would we notice about the way a gifted child makes choices? In what ways does a gifted child produce knowledge rather than simply consume it?
Who are we looking for? Level 1 • These children show interest in many things before they are even two years old - like colours, saying the numbers in order, and playing simple puzzles. • Most of them are good talkers by age three, and by four, many print letters and numbers, recognize simple signs, their name, and know most of alphabet. • By the time they are six years old, many read beginner books and type at the computer, and most read chapter books by age seven. • It is not unusual to find six to eight Level One children in an average classroom, children who are nearly always a few steps ahead of what the teacher is teaching the whole class.
Who are we looking for? Level 2 • love looking at books and being read to, even turning pages without ripping them, by 15 months. They recognise labels and words in the environment. • sit for what seems like hours as you read advanced level books, especially fiction and fantasy, to them, but they require a bit less of your time by age six, because most of them read for pleasure and information on their own by then. • can find only one or two others in their classroom who are as advanced as they are, which starts to make it hard to find good friends.
Who are we looking for? Level 3 • They know what adults are telling or asking them by six months. You say a toy, pet, or another person, and they will look for it. • By the time they are barely 12 months old, they can get family members to do what they want before they are actually talking. • By two years, many like 35+ piece puzzles, memorize favourite books, and know the entire alphabet - in or out of order! • By three years old, they talk constantly,. They love to print letters and numbers, too, because they like to. • They ask you to be taught to read before five years • There are one or two Level Three children in every 100 in the average school.
Who are we looking for? Level 4 • Level Four babies love books, someone to read them, and pay attention very, very early. • They have extensive, complex speaking while still in their toddler years, and their vocabularies are huge! • Most of them read easy readers before kindergarten, and then read for information and pleasure soon thereafter, with comprehension for youth and adult level books while only in the early years of school. • There are about one per 200 children in the average school.
Who are we looking for? Level 5 • They have favourite TV shows when barely out of infancy, pick out letters and numbers by before they can talk, and enjoy shape sorters earlier than most children. • They print letters, numbers, words, and their names in their early toddler years, and often use anything that is available to form these shapes and figures. • They show ability with 35+ piece puzzles, often before they actually speak and interest in complex mazes while still only toddlers.
Musical, dramatic, and artistic aptitudes usually start showing by 18 months. • Most speak with adult-level complexity shortly after they speak at all! • They can play card and board games ages 12 and up when they are still in preschool. • They have high interest in pure facts, almanacs, and dictionaries by age 3½. • They read six or more years beyond grade level with comprehension by six years and usually hit 12th grade level by age 7 or 8.
Reflection: • Take each level. • Think about the features of the literacy learning environment that will need to be adjusted to provide students at the levels with challenging work. • Think about the type of teaching needed to best engage these students.
Key Points In the early years of school, young gifted children need ……
Young Gifted Children and Literature Literary Texts. Provide complex stories and themes Good literature provides layered meanings; complex vocabulary; interesting word patterns; strong characters Picture books – ones that build stories; challenge thinking; present dilemmas; engage Poetry – vocabulary, descriptive language, patterns, devices
Young Gifted Children and Literature Factual texts Thematic Visual text + word text Core information Well presented – organised, categorised, connected Authentic texts
Young Gifted Children and Literature In the classroom: Themes – provide a range of levels of book about themes, form easy to challenging Non-fiction texts - books about the universe; dinosaurs, space, transport, ancient civilisations, other places Biographies – stories about other people’s lives Dictionaries, glossaries, core information books Use dramatisation, discussion, debate, visual representation to show comprehension
Gifted Young Children and Writing Indicators: (before writing) Detailed and expressive stories Relate events or incidents with interesting observations and language Elaborate on situations Use vocabulary that is different and appropriate Desire to write things down – a need to record their stories in some form of written text
Gifted Young Children and Writing Then… Make captions for pictures or scribe long detailed stories about their pictures Fascinated with words, letters, sounds – attempt to write difficult words with phonetic structures Experiment with words and sentence patterns Use formats – presenting text in different ways; inventing ways of organising information, labelling and linking pieces of text.
Gifted Children and Writing And when writing … Fussy about the words they want to use – know which words are he correct ones for their sentence Play with words – rhyming, alliteration, nonsense words to fit their text Interested in different words: make up their own compound words, collective nouns, similes and metaphor Sometimes perfectionist – won’t write until they can get the right word (and get it right)
Gifted Children and Writing Like to play with traditional stories – eg retelling fairy tales with added characters, different views, change of setting Are able to evoke emotion in he reader – connect to the reader with their writing. Use pictures, fancy text, (eg large capitals to begin chapter) in original or appropriate ways to enhance the text
Gifted Children and Writing Write long texts – but not waffle – intuitively structure stories Play with text format – add interesting detail, write for effect Aware of the audience for writing Combine different forms of text
Differentiating Literature Discuss each of the areas of the model. How will you think about each area in your planning for writing? How will you think about them when planning and providing literature/reading material for gifted young children?