Even what seems like a low-level “summarize” task can become beautifully high-level when we climb Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Differentiation TechniqueChange, Then Explain!
Read The OverviewSynthesize: Make A Change, Explain The Effect
I love the term "Synthesize" from the classic Bloom's Taxonomy, but it can be hard to know exactly what it looks like. My favorite "Synthesize Recipe" is to ask students to make a change to existing content and then explain the effects of that change to me.
Specific Examples of “Change, Then Explain!”
When we jump from “this kid likes board games” straight to “I’ll have them create a new board game”, we leave out important steps in the creative process and set kids up for disappointment (and end up with a lot of unfinished projects). Here’s how to scaffold a truly creative task.
Students took the classic song, Help!, and rewrote it to be about their collective summers.
The first unit in our writing program was always teaching the coordinating conjunctions. It always felt goofy teaching this to 6th graders – especially a gifted magnet class. I mean… do they really not know the difference between “and” and “but”?
Do your students realize that addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are all examples of the same idea: an operation? And that it’s quite possible to create a brand new operation? Let’s do it!
We’re not doing a fluffy art project here. Kids are developing a realistic, made up creature that could have actually lived in a particular biome.
A reader asks how we can take the typical “look up facts online and then present with PowerPoint” task to an appropriate level of challenge.
My students, as part of their Create A Civilization project, had to select a type of government and explain its consequences. So I loved finding this list of all the different types of government.
Take students beyond the decorations and ask them to identify what a holiday reveals about a culture’s values. Then, push them further as they develop their own holidays.
A list of stories inspired by older stories to teach your students about the history of reusing ideas.
Each year, my students created their own civilization to mirror what we were learning about Rome, China, India, and beyond.
I’ve been continuing the idea to explore classic music during silent reaing, and incorporated Gustav Holsts’ “The Planets.” My students, who have an affinity for memorizing gods and goddesses, took a special interest in this idea. I figured, let’s see how far their interests will take us?
After creating an above-level grammar group, I was left with the problem of creating a challenging grammar assignment. Inspired by a friend’s self-created language, I encouraged my students to examine the rules of other languages. Some interesting rules they discussed included…
One of my favorite ways to differentiate for gifted students is to create “remixes” of an existing idea. Students take an existing story, reshape it, and create a new product. It encourages them to explore the stories behind existing stories, helps them to understand how real writers work, and gives them a creative way to explore literature.