Gifted And Talented Students

By: Ashley Stinson

Definition and Description

  • "Gifted and talented" is a term used to describe children with outstanding abilities that surpasses those of their regular peers. Because of these outstanding abilities, these gifted and talented children are capable of high performance and achievement . Some of these outstanding abilities can be, but not limited to , academic, intellectual , artistic, linguistic, or musical related.
  • Five areas to consider when identifying giftedness and talents:
  • Intellectual ability
  • Academic aptitude
  • Creativity/ Productive Thinking
  • Leadership Ability
  • Visual and Performing Arts Talents


  • In the United States, 3.2 million students currently identify as gifted or talented in American elementary and secondary schools
  • National average : 6.7%
  • Maryland : 16.1 %

Common Characteristics include, but are not limited to:

Intellectual /Academic Characteristics
  • abstract reasoning
  • learning quickly
  • showing intellectual curiosity
  • having exceptional memory
  • generalizing learning
  • strong verbal skills
Social/ Emotional Characteristics
  • exhibiting individualism
  • being highly sensitive to others and self
  • having strength of character
  • having different modes of expression
  • being able to empathize
  • experiencing great stress from failure
  • criticizes self
Social and Emotional Characteristics of Gifted Students: Smooth Sailing, Rough Seas

Challenges Gifted and Talented Students Face in the Classroom

One of the issues gifted and talented students face is underachievement. There are many reasons why high achieving students may perform lower than expected. However, it is believed that some of the causes of underachievement are
  • perfectionism
  • peer relationship issues
  • emotional sensitivity
  • various social/emotional issues
  • learning disabilities that have not been diagnosed
  • curriculum not challenging or engaging
Gifted children

Instructional Practices

Some accommodations that gifted and talented students would benefit from are:

1. Independent projects - to help foster creativity in the classroom

2. Academic competition- to help challenge the students academically

3. Find a mentor - the mentor will work with the student and help the student reach his/her highest potential

4. Vertical enrichment-assignments meant to further challenges gifted and talented students by helping them further develop their thinking and problem solving skills.

5. Differentiated Learning- incorporate new methods of teaching to help students stat engaged

6. Acceleration- reduce time spend on lecturing, allow for more time for independent study/projects

Data-Based Instructional Strategies and Accomodations

Challenging Gifted Students in the Regular Classroom

Differentiating Learning for Gifted Students

Home - Based Strategies

1. Expose child to as many learning opportunities as possible - broadens the child's horizons , allows for exploration in areas of interest, and allows for the nurturing of unique abilities

2. Avoid activity "overload" - gifted children may excel at many things, but if they are involved in too many activities, they can become overwhelmed and may start to perform poorly

3. Address issues gifted and talented child may be facing- gifted and talented students are highly sensitive to self and often feel inadequate. It is important that parents pay attention to and are in tune with their child's feelings. It is essential that parents let their children know that they should proudly embrace their abilities .

Considerations and Strategies for Parenting the Gifted Child

National Association for Gifted Children

This informational website serves as a beneficial resource for parents and teachers of gifted and talented students. This website offers parents and teachers more information and advice on how to help their gifted and talented student reach their full potential

National Society for the Gifted and Talented

This website is also a resource for teachers and parents . This website allows teachers and parents to locate state and national gifted organizations, in addition to keeping up to date with articles on gifted education and gifted student blogs.
iPadagogy - App Review - Futaba Classroom Games Tutorial
This app, developed by INKids, is perfect for teachers who want to promote academic competition in the classroom. Futaba is a multi-player game ( up to 4 students), but there is also a single practice mode , which is perfect for individual study time at home.


Definitions of Giftedness. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2015, from

Gifted-friendly parenting strategies. (2006). Retrieved May 4, 2015, from

Smith, D., & Tyler, N. (2014). Gifted and Talented. In Introduction to contemporary special education: New horizons (pp. 398-399, 403, 406, 412). Boston: Pearson Education.

Teachers First - Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2015, from

Underachievement. (2015). Retrieved May 3, 2015, from