5th Grade ASPIRE TED Talks

Information about TED, Talks, and ASPIRE GT students

What is TED?

TED was created in 1984 by an architect, Richard Saul Wurman with the idea of inviting people to a dream dinner party. He wanted diverse and brillant minds with passionate and fresh ideas getting together for shared inspiration and insight. Thus TED was born as a conference bringing together people from three diverse worlds-Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Since then TED has spread...their ideas worth sharing have been shared worldwide, by young and old alike.

Last fall our 5th grade ASPIRE GT students participated in a similar experience - only they voted to call it SPARKx (Speaking Passionately About Real Knowledge) since the name TED was already taken. The students last year did a great job, not only on their talks but also in planning all aspects for the presentation days.


Gifted children have many social and emotional needs. The opportunity to share in this way to friends, family, and peers speaks to their sense of justice, sensitivity, and passion. In this digital world, learning the skills of successful presentation is vitally important. It will also be a personal challenge for many and once they accomplish this task, they will have that feeling of elation that comes with pushing through a task and finding success.

Our TED Talks Wiki

Last year we developed the wiki listed above to use with the students to learn more about TED Talks and to help them develop their own talk complete with presentation. Since a couple of our schools are participating in an official TED Ed Club, we have expanded the wiki this year to include information about the TED Ed Clubs. The link above will take you to page on our wiki that has a great video about TED Ed Clubs, explains the skills the students will be developing and the goals for a TED Ed Club set by TED. These goals

Feel free to visit other pages on the wiki as well. The kids all love the video "I am Part of the Lost Generation" on the Challenge page. Many of them have told us that they looked it up at home and shared it with their parents. Scroll further down the Challenge page and you will be able to see the Challenge Tellagami by one of last year's students. She is passing on the challenge to this year's 5th grade ASPIRE students.

The kids have also started watching some talks given by other students at an official TED event, as well as some all time great TED Talks. Looking to see what makes an "Idea worth sharing" and how the speaker hooks their audience at the beginning of the talk and keeps them engaged for the duration.

Mini Talks

To prepare for talking in front of an audience, the students have been practicing mini talks. They have practiced introducing their classmates as if they were a particular kind of speaker (TV announcer, Sports announcer, Librarian, even Mickey Mouse). The kids have also given mini talks, 10-20 seconds in length, about various and strange topics. They discovered the challenge of speaking for 20 seconds with no ums, wells, or likes. We will continue to work on mini talks and work our way up to recording the introduction and "Hook" for their talk, to finally being ready to give their talk.

How Can You Help?

Talk with your child. We are at the point where the students all need to choose their topic. Some of their ideas are way too broad. We are working on narrowing the topic and judging it against the criteria we created that determines if an idea is worth sharing. Discussion around the dinner table about their idea would also be helpful. Later it will also be helpful to have your child practice his or her talk at home and discuss the strengths and any deltas that might make it stronger.

Stay Tuned...

As we get closer to the days when we will present our TED Talks in late January and early February we will let you know the day and time your child will be sharing their story.