Project Ideas for Gifted Students Book: Identifying & Enhancing the Strengths of Gifted Learners, K-8: Easy-to-Use Activities and Lessons, by Ann Maccagnano (Corwin Press 2007) Key Points in Program Planning for Gifted Students: Gifted students need challenging work, not just more work. Open-ended questions, guided discovery, problem solving, freedom of choice, higher-level thinking skills, and creativity are important components for a quality education for gifted students. Gifted students may not excel in all areas, but have great potential in certain subjects and should be provided with experiences to strengthen this potential. Cross-Curricular Projects (Chapter 8): The following projects incorporate many subject areas - every one of your students can find something here to be excited about, and each one of the activities will help gifted students improve upon their area of strength as well as challenge their other, weaker areas (p. 101). 1) Design Your Own Dream Room Students draw scale models of their room on graph paper and on the computer, incorporating architecture elements, calculations, creative writing, and use of spreadsheets. This project involves language arts, math, architecture, creativity, oral presentation skills, and visual/spatial skills. Step 1: Construct aerial view of room on graph paper, drawn to scale, including measurements. Transfer drawing onto the computer. Step 2: Using a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel), calculate cost of carpet and all items, including tax, shipping and handling, using real prices from retailers. Step 3: Write a detailed description of the room. Step 4: (Optional) Build a scale model of the room. Step 5: Present the room to the class.
2) Create a Company and an Advertisement Students create a company that sells a product or provides a service. To introduce the project, invite a small business owner to come in as a guest speaker. Students brainstorm ideas for a product or service that would make their lives easier or better, then create a company saying, description of product or service, price, location, and company logo. Possible Components of Project: Design an eye-catching brochure Design a business card Use a spreadsheet and graph to tally items sold and associated costs Create a prototype of item to be sold Create and present or record a commercial for television or radio
3) Hero Unit 1. Students brainstorm the characteristics of a hero, and list real people or professions that they feel exhibit the qualities of a hero. 2. Students then brainstorm a list of superheros and discuss their superpowers, costumes, villains, sidekicks, secret identities, hideouts. 3. Students compare characteristics of real-life hero and superhero using Venn diagram. Culminating Activity: Students create their own superhero adventure story incorporating the features they have researched. They may make a comic book, pop-up book, or book with illustrations. Creative Extension: Students may design a model of their superhero.
Further Ideas for Cross-Curricular Projects: Design a webquest Create a slideshow presentation Create an interactive computer game using hyperlinks Design a travel brochure Create a radio show
When working with gifted children, it is important to inspire a zest for learning new things every day. The regular curriculum often bores them , as does the busywork they are generally given as a result of finishing tasks early. Spotting students potential giftedness and providing the necessary educational opportunities is vital to creating this zest, and is the first step in helping them develop a lifelong love for learning (p. 113).