Teaching gifted Kids

Top 5 Tips for Teaching Gifted Kids

teaching gifted kidsHow to recognise Gifted Students

Gifted students can actually have a lot in common with these who are struggling. In many cases they can exhibit similar behaviours. They can often become disruptive or disengaged, not because they can’t keep up, but because they’re bored! It’s important to be able to recognise the difference and deal with each situation in turn.

Characteristics of Gifted Students

Gifted students exhibit several common characteristics. As with kids who are struggling, being gifted  usually means a combination of factors. Some of these characteristics will be apparent in varying degrees and amounts. A gifted student may well …

  • Have a high level of curiosity.
  • Have a well-developed imagination.
  • More often then not give an unusual response to common queries.
  • Be able to remember and retain a great deal of information.
  • Be able to offer original solutions to common problems
  • Have the ability to concentrate on a single task or problem for extended periods of time.
  • Be capable of grasping more complex concepts.
  • Be well organized.
  • Get excited about learning new concepts and facts.
  • Learn independently and without assistance.

Practicals for Teaching Gifted Kids

If there’s one common theme with teaching gifted kids it’s the fact that they’re so full of questions (and answers too!). They’re also as curious as a kitten. Providing for their needs is not easy and will keep you on your toes. It will help to keep some of specific strategies in mind:

  • Allow the gifted students to design and follow through own projects. Let them pursue questions of their own choosing. In other words it’s OK if they work on their own stuff!
  • Provide the gifted students with lots of open-ended activities. This means questions without the obvious yes or no, right or wrong. Allow them more freedom to explore.
  • Allow and encourage gifted students to take on leadership roles where possible. (Note: Be aware that gifted students can be socially immature.)
  • Provide opportunities for gifted students to read more about subjects that interest them. In a Sunday School class this may mean allowing them to read Bible verses on their own and answer more difficult questions.
  • Allow the gifted kids to work on extended projects. In a Bible class this may mean allowing them to work on questions on a theme that might go for several weeks. They can pick up where they left off and work at their own pace whilst other children can do todays more basic lesson.

Sometimes teaching gifted kids can be as challenging as teaching those who struggle. You need to modify your delivery to meet their specific need. This means being able to recognise the signs and then having the tools to modify your message. If you get this right then teaching gifted kids can be so much more satisfying for them and for you.


Until next time,

teaching gifted kids




Dwight Veenman

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