I began including an “idiom template” as well as some powerpoint slides in the weekly idiom list, but neglected to mention how I used the template! Here are four ideas I’ve used:
Let’s remix a famous Christmas poem, give it a Thanksgiving theme, and teach our students advanced poetry concepts at the same time
It’s easy for science instruction to linger in the bowels of Bloom’s Taxonomy as we try to cram everything into the tiny time allotted. However, isolated facts don’t inspire our students. Let’s set up units that invoke creativity but demand knowledge.
Don’t ask why I was looking at this Disney Pin Trading site featuring Disney characters dressed up like other Disney characters, but it inspired a Halloween-themed character analysis activity. Characters from film or literature dress up like other characters based on some parallel such as: conflict, trait, accomplishment, etc.
Let’s look at a couple ways to bring inductive thinking into word studies. We’ll examine simple plural rules all the way up to etymology of foreign words in English.
Let’s write a persuasive essay about one holiday from the point of view of another holiday’s “mascot.” For example, what would the Easter Bunny think about Christmas, how would Santa feel about Valentine’s Day, and what would a Turkey have to say about St. Patrick’s Day?
Sure, these may be games at heart, but you can take them to the next level by requiring students to develop strategies, write them out, and then use them to challenge you to a match! Unlike a game of chess, each of these activities are incredibly simple, so students can quickly formulate and test strategies.
With inductive learning, we still define terms, explain rules, and practice, but the order is different. We’re harnessing gifted students’ natural abilities to enhance our lessons.
Gifted students spot patterns quicker than the rest of us. They learn faster. They naturally move from concrete to abstract, just as Holmes inferred Watson’s hometown from his shoes. Let’s set up our lessons to take advantage of this natural ability.
Learning about idioms is simply a fun activity that students will enjoy far more than writing spelling lists out five times each. Researching idiom origins is a great example of assigning gifted students less, but more complex work than their grade-level peers.