I know many gifted students slog through the typical vocabulary contract week after week. I know because I put my own students through it. However, gifted students can get more from vocabulary and spelling study than writing the word five times, writing the definition, and then using it in a sentence.
How can you start meeting gifted learners’ needs in language arts? Here are four guidelines from Dr. David Levande with several practical ideas to get you started.
Challenge your gifted students and advanced spellers with this list of 320 homophones arranged into groups of ten. Also includes five task cards for independent work with homophones.
To differentiate spelling and vocabulary for my gifted students, I incorporate words with Greek and Latin origins. This list is a compilation of 111 Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes, along with 35 groups of 5 related English words, plus 5 task cards.
Idioms were my next target. Houghton Mifflin spends just one week on this concept, yet the only way to learn idioms is to be exposed to a wide variety. I scoured the internet and developed a list of over 200 idioms with definitions and examples.
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.
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:
One of my favorite tricks in the classroom was having a “puzzle of the day.” The great difficulty was finding puzzles that challenged my students, but didn’t require meticulous work or strange knowledge. Word Ladders were always a consistent hit.
In need of some nice word puzzles that will keep your gifted kids busy? Ask them to find as many words as they can within another word. For example: can you find five words made from the letters in “snowy?” How about ten?
This product features 125 homographs and homonyms to upgrade your spelling and vocabulary lists. Includes definitions, examples, parts of speech, and pronunciation guides.