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BOREDOM BUSTERS. Breaking the Bonds of Boredom. Everyone is bored… Sometime Boredom is….. boring. Boredom is…. The place where we begin to hate the sameness of our lives. Everything becomes tasteless . Nothing satisfies . Avram Davis. Boredom is….

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boredom busters


Breaking the Bonds

of Boredom

boredom is
Boredom is…

The place where we begin to hatethe sameness of our lives.

Everythingbecomes tasteless. Nothing satisfies.

Avram Davis

boredom is1
Boredom is….

When we must do what we don’twant to do


don’t want to do what we must.

Linda Deal

research says

Some people are more prone

to boredom

than others

(Farmer & Sundberg, 1986, Eysenck & Zuckerman, 1978, Sundberg & Bisno, 1983)

Adolescents Males

Seniors Extroverts

research says1

Boredom leads to other problems

(The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University)

Drug Abuse School attendance

School dropouts Overeating

Underachievement Alcoholism

research says2
Boredom occurs in and out of school (Larson & Richards, 1991)

Boredom can be situational or dispositional (Farmer & Sundberg, 1986)

boredom and gifted research
Boredom and Gifted Research
  • A student does not have to be gifted to be bored in school (Feldhusen & Kroll, 1991; Gallagher, Harradine & Coleman, 1997; Larson & Richards, 1991)
  • A lack of challenge is the most commonly identified cause for classroom boredom. (Gentry, Gable & Springer, 2000).
  • Gifted children spend at least one-fourth to one-half of the regular classroom time waiting for others to catch up. Boredom is rampant because of the age tracking in our public schools. Webb, Meckstroth and Tolan, 1982; Winner, 2000
  • 871 gifted students cited lack of challenge with boredom when they stated their opinions of their schooling. (Gallagher, Harradine, and Coleman,1997)
  • Boredom occurs when teachers expect too little"

Csikszentmihalyi, Rathunde, and Whalen (1993)


Not enough physical activity

Does not feel in control

Basic needs are not fulfilled

Does not have coping options

physical activity
Physical Activity
  • Gifted children have psychomotor intensities.
      • Talk fast and often
      • Always fidgeting
      • Nervous habits
      • Compulsively doing something
      • Marked enthusiasm
feelings of control
Feelings of Control
  • Gifted children have sensual/intellectual intensities
      • Pressure for action
      • Compulsive organizing
      • Detailed planning
      • Internal locus of control
basic needs fulfilled
Basic Needs Fulfilled

Gifted children have many needs

  • Need for competition
  • Need to be in the
  • Need for positive feelings of self worth
  • Need to have fears and anxieties
  • Need for others to understand them in relationships
  • Need for emotional ties and attachments
  • Need to have feelings of inadequacy and inferiority allayed




coping options
Coping Options

Because many gifted children

are creative and intelligent,

they may have a

range of possible coping skills.


when we are bored we
Tired, apathetic, listless

Impatient, trapped

Helpless, confused, conflicted

Sad, displeased,

Annoyed, angry, frustrated

Dull, disinterested


When we are bored we ….


responses to boredom
Responses to Boredom

Believes work is too easy, too difficult or just acts disinterested

Procrastinates because

it requires too much effort to begin

responses to boredom1
Responses to Boredom

Act inappropriately

  • Talk back
  • Challenges authority
  • Disregard the rules
  • Shows hostility
  • Damages property
  • Truancy
track it the boredom log
Track It!...The Boredom Log


Time of day?

Check for physical reasons

track it the boredom log1
Track It!...The Boredom Log


Type of Activity?

Plan ways to remain engaged to hold interest

track it the boredom log2
Track It!... The Boredom Log


Content Area?


Content? teaching style?

learning style?

track it the boredom log3
Track It!...The Boredom Log



(light, heat, noise, distractions)

Address learning style

track it the boredom log4
Track It!...The Boredom Log



Confusion, lack of direction

what s a teacher to do
What’s a Teacher to do?
  • Take a break during class

Change physical

position in the room

  • Stand up instead of raising hand

Move desks mid class

  • Do some quick easy movements
what s a teacher to do1
What’s a teacher to do?

Offer multiple-intelligence type

choices for students

Create tiered assignments

Offer choice of products

and assessment

Brainstorm a class list of things to combat boredom

what s a teacher to do2
What’s a teacher to do?

Help students recognize their

feelings of boredom so they

know how to initiate coping


Give class directions in a way emphasizing fun/enjoyment to reduce stress

what s a teacher to do3
What’s a teacher to do?

Help students know the relevance of the studies.

Pretest and skip

Use a variety of presentations and activities to learn material

assess your class
Assess Your Class
  • Ask your students:
    • What was boring and what was interesting
    • Sound an alarm and have students write down what was on their mind at that minute. Keep track of the time and topic
    • Give a rating scale of things covered in class
be enthusiastic
Be Enthusiastic

Even when giving directions

Change the assignment to

become more exciting

change the


Change the

Use graphic organizers and

PowerPoint's instead of wordy


your lesson
your Lesson


Talk less. Let students provide the information while you fill in the outline.

Role play. Let students become

the teacher, designing worksheets,

activities, presentation

your lesson1
your Lesson


Fishbowl. Divide into groups and let each group present a different chapter or topic

Use games. Let students

create games, designing

questions, rules etc.

Use “fat” questions. Use Bloom’s higher level


develop boredom awareness
Develop Boredom Awareness

Help students become self aware Brainstorm boredom behaviors

Brainstorm a list of

coping strategies

develop boredom awareness1
Develop Boredom Awareness

Help students have an

internal file of alternatives.

tips for battling boredom
Tips for Battling Boredom

Use different color notebook paper

Use sticky notes to collect good ideas

you have when you’re supposed to be

thinking of something else.

Use another part of your brain.

Turn the class into a movie set.

Imagine how it would look from different

camera angles. Imagine the scenery,

costumes, maybe a different place…the moon?

tips for battling boredom1
Tips for Battling Boredom

Ask fun questions to yourself about the topic.

How would a clown, a movie star, or how would I use this information in ten years?

How would I explain it to my dog?

tips for battling boredom2
Tips for Battling Boredom

Make lists of everything….

gifts to buy, ideas for projects,

places you want to go,

slogans for campaigns,

favorite meals or songs.

Sit in a different chair

tips for battling boredom3
Tips for Battling Boredom

Play games with opposites:

similar to, different from,

its opposite. Comedy

like/unlike drama. Girls like/unlike boys

Think about how inanimate objects feel: Would three rather be a five? How a noun feels about being a noun?

tips for battling boredom4
Tips for Battling Boredom


Students need to keep their imagination

going while staying connected to the

material that is being taught!


What are you willing to do to become a



Deal, Linda. (2003). THE BOREDOM SOLUTION: Understanding and Dealing with Boredom. California: Dandy Lion.

Delisle, J & Galbraith, J. 2002. WHEN GIFTED KIDS DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs. Minnesota: Free Spirit Publishing.