Gifted and Talented Grades 6-12

The Power of Perspective

Who cares?: Using real-world perspectives to engage academically gifted learners

In determining how to adapt the Standard Course of Study to the needs of academically gifted learners, one of the most important questions to ask about an objective is, “who cares?” In other words, what careers, individuals, or institutions actually deal with that objective in real life? Looking at academic content from these actual perspectives yields rich, rigorous, challenging learning for those who are ready to go beyond proficiency. It also provides a reason to learn, and addresses the students’ perennial question of “When will I ever need to know this?”

Multiple Perspectives: Right and Wrong at the Same Time

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Developing Perspective Through Icons

Introducing Depth & Complexity: Episode One
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Middle School NonFiction Text Sets to Support Argument Essay Writing

Building the case for informational texts

Differentiating instruction can be thought of as a means of providing opportunity — deepening and broadening the content that may be explored in a classroom as well as providing a range of formats in which students can learn and demonstrate their knowledge.3 Using informational text is one means of differentiating content and offering new avenues for process and assessment.

The term informational texts, also referred to as nonfiction trade books or non-narrative texts, includes factual books that are neither textbooks nor reference materials. These may include content-based books in science, social studies, and fine arts areas, biographies and autobiographies, and books made up of narrative text woven with factual information usually targeted for young children. For adults, it is estimated that eighty-six percent of reading is drawn from factual text to gather information.1 It is not surprising, then, that developing skills that build comprehension from informational text and have been cited as an “urgent priority” currently lacking in literacy curriculum and instruction.2

Multiple Perspectives: Reading Informational Text Grades 11-12

Engaging Students in Informational Text through Debate

Debate is a great way to build perspective through multiple points of view.
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Debate- Democracy in Action

Our classrooms should be models of democracy in action. The search for better modes of deliberation across difference occurs not just in the town hall, but in the classroom, where our students can learn and practice the value of listening with respect to others. The skills students need to form better understandings are very similar to those they need to become engaged citizens in a pluralistic democracy: written and oral communication, teamwork, inquiry and analysis, intercultural competence, and critical thinking. We should thus seek opportunities to model these skills through discussion and debate, presenting evidence on both sides of historical and contemporary issues and encouraging students to draw their own conclusions while engaging deeply with multiple viewpoints.

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Additional Resources

10 Strategies to Engage Students in Non Fiction