Gifted Students

Success in Schools

What does it mean to be gifted?

Ontario defines gifted students as "having an unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program."

Gifted students can be categorized into three broad categories:

  • advanced intellectual ability
  • abundant creativity
  • heightened emotions and sensitivities

Characteristics of a Gifted Child

A gifted child may demonstrate some of the following characteristics, but not necessarily all of them.

  • high levels of focus and concentration
  • a large vocabulary and high verbal fluency
  • a well-developed memory and excellent retention of new knowledge
  • learns quickly and easily
  • curiosity
  • high levels of energy
  • perfectionism
  • ability to generate original ideas
  • sense of justice

Student Success

You might think that gifted students will be successful in schools regardless of the learning environment or content. However, gifted students also require an educational program and environment that is tailored to their needs. A teacher can differentiate for gifted students by changing what is learned, how it is learned, the pace of instruction and how learning will be demonstrated.

Differentiation Ideas

  • materials taught at a faster rate
  • curriculum compacting - bypass previously mastered skills, reduce practice and drills
  • focus more on higher level thinking skills
  • independent research inquiries that match interest and skills
  • introduce ideas that are more complex or abstract
  • use of technology
  • self-directed projects
  • increase access to diverse materials and resources
  • provide leadership opportunities
Six Ways to Meet Bright and Gifted Kids' Needs Without Much Extra Work


Inclusive Classrooms in Ontario Schools

Hutchinson, N. .L & Martin, A. .K. (2012). Inclusive Classrooms in Ontario Schools. Toronto: Pearson Canada.