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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 85261 (602) 954-4200 janet@giftedbooks.com

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the importance of books and reading for gifted children
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 85261

(602) 954-4200

janet@giftedbooks.com

www.giftedbooks.com

characteristics of gifted children
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
their intellectual needs as social and emotional needs
Their Intellectual Needs AS Social and Emotional Needs
  • Gifted children who are not challenged are not happy and do not feel fulfilled.
their intellectual needs are some of their social and emotional needs
Their Intellectual Needs ARESome of TheirSocial 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.
social and emotional needs
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
social emotional differences
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
some special needs of gifted
Some Special Needs of Gifted
  • Relationships with others
  • Recognizing differences
  • Taking risks
  • Accepting dissonance between expectations vs. performance
  • Coping with impatience
  • Forming identity
        • Time aloneBuescher (1985)
how books help them cope

How Books Help Them Cope

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!

selecting books
Selecting Books
  • 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.
look for books with these themes
Look for Books with These Themes:
  • Aloneness
  • Identity
  • Friendships
  • Moral concerns
  • Introversion
  • Intensity
  • Creativity
  • Perfectionism
  • Arrogance
  • Achievement
  • Resilience
  • Sensitivity
  • Drive to Understand
how books can help

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)

when we discuss a book
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)

bibliotherapy
Bibliotherapy
  • A process of dynamic interaction between the personality of the reader and literature…
reading aloud
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
reading aloud1
Reading Aloud
  • Books Kids Will Sit Still For: A Read-Aloud Guide, (2006)
  • Books Kids Will Sit Still For: A Read-Aloud Guide, 2nd Edition (1995)

Judy Freeman

children will gladly listen to more advanced literature than they can read themselves
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
bibliotherapy1
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
slide20
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.
great book discussions can occur at home or at school
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
developmental bibliotherapy
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

fundamentals
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
what about escape reading

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)

introducing the book
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 ….”

discussion is open ended
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.
for example
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

developing open ended questions
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

not just for problems
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
more about why
More about Why
  • 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

for example1
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?
children will gladly listen to more advanced literature than they can read themselves1
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
kindergarten to 2 nd grade
Kindergarten to 2nd 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.

story hour leads to
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 5th grade many begin to read information books. Boys like books about snakes, etc. Girls often like horses.
upper elementary
Upper Elementary

Because of Winn-Dixie

What guidelines for making friends are suggested in this story? Do you agree?

What would you change?

  • Themes:
    • Relationships with others
    • Resilience
upper elementary1
Upper Elementary
  • Harriet the Spy
    • Harriet uses her ability in ways that give others reason to dislike her.
    • Do you know anyone who does this?
    • What are the disadvantages of doing so?
    • How can people change?
    • What will help Harriet use her ability more positively?
upper elementary2
Upper Elementary
  • Don’t Feed the Monster

on Tuesdays!

      • Imagine 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 others
      • One of a series of books by this author– on stress, anger, grief, lying.
      • Adolph Moser (1991)
a healthy self image
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

middle school
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?
    • Which of these are also needed by young people today?
middle school1
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.
high school
High School
  • Ironman
  • Bo uses running to help cope with strains in the relationship between him and his father.
  • People sometimes hide their story.
  • By the end of the book, how has Bo’s relationship with his dad changed?
high school1
High School
  • Madame Curie
  • The book presents the rich intellectual world of well educated children growing up in Poland a century ago
  • How did Marie show resilience?
  • What helped her to cope?
  • How important was her family?
more about why1
More about Why
  • 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

book lists
Book Lists
  • Halsted, Judith. Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers, 3rd ed. (2009) Great Potential Press.

www.giftedbooks.com

Hauser, Paula &Nelson, Gail. (1988) Books for the Gifted Child, Vol. 2. Bowker.

Silvey, Anita. Great Books for Teens.(2006)

resources about reading good books
Resources about ReadingGood Books
  • PowerPoint presentation on reading by Susannah Richards
  • \http://www.iusd.k12.ca.us/parent_resources/gate/documents/IrvineTalented20072page.pdf
other resources
Other Resources
  • Children’s Literature Web Guide. www.ucalgary.ca/-dkbrown
  • Hoagies Gifted Information Page. www.hoagiesgifted.com
  • Outstanding Books for the College Bound:

www.ala.org/ala/valsa/booklistsawards/outstandingbooks/outstandingbooks.htm

lessons from people who later became eminent
Lessons From People WhoLater 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

people who became eminent
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

if they lose interest
If They Lose Interest…

E.g., get involved in computers, sports, video games

Or, resent being told what to read

go to young adult fiction
Go to Young Adult Fiction
  • A fast-growing area for ages 13-20
  • 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
transition to adult literature
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 romance
      • Boys 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. 87
non fiction

Non-fiction

Non-fiction helps with standardized tests; it builds skill with expository prose.

There is a wealth of non-fiction books

available.

fiction non fiction

Fiction &Non-fiction

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

the importance of books
The Importance of Books

Books have tremendous potential for

helping highly able children to

understand themselves and become

all that they can be.