Integrating a classic is a great way to pump up an otherwise simple lesson. It seems like a black and white movie is the last thing a kid would want to see, but classics are classics for a reason!
We’re continuing our journey through a writing unit focused on the patterns of great writing. This lesson, number three in the series, covers commonly used themes. Be amazed as your students begin developing stories around themes of redemption, coming of age, and the hero’s journey.
Take a break from teaching the details of writing and examine narrative writing from a larger perspective. How can structure increase creativity in writing? Take your gifted writers on a journey through common patterns in narrative writing.
Here’s a “critical thinking” question from the Houghton Mifflin selection “Beneath The Royal Palms:” “Why did Alma’s family decide to make nativity figurines?” To me this is asking for low level thinking, certainly not what I would consider “critical.” Now, let’s transform this into a beautiful and rigorous question suitable for your gifted kids.
Here’s an interesting quote to use with some of your older gifted students: “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words.” The author of this quote might surprise you!
The first grammar lesson in our reading program is titled “types of sentences.” Nothing excites gifted 11 year olds less than watching me explain the difference between interrogative and declarative sentences. This year, rather than teach the lesson using direct instruction, I used another model of instruction: concept attainment.
Generalizations, big ideas, abstractions, universal themes… they are designed to help our gifted students learn. However, what I didn’t realize was that they would help me teach!