Extracurricular Enrichment for Gifted Students

Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

Gifted students go above and beyond in the classroom, and it's important for them to stay active outside of class as well. Teachers should not only motivate gifted students to pursue enrichment activities during their free time, but also assist them in selecting ones that are the best fit to help them learn and grow.

Linguistic Leland

Leland is an intellectually gifted and talented student who was born with the gift of gab. He can speak impromptu on a variety of topics of interest and has no trouble speaking out in class discussions. His verbal achievement test scores have always been in the top tenth percentile rank. As he enters high school, Leland's teachers should assist him in exploring different extracurricular activities that will hone his language and speaking skills. It's important to remember that although many gifted students are working to enhance their career goals, they don't want to be over-scheduled to the point of adding stress; work-life balance is key, even if students are tempted to take on too much.

Let's take a closer look at some of the extracurricular activities that Leland is considering joining. We'll focus on the targeted skills for each one, as well as the benefits achieved from participation.

Debate Teams

Leland has considered becoming a lawyer- his family says he can argue his way out of anything. He can also think on his feet and remember facts well. Joining the debate team would help him improve his reasoning and critical thinking skills, while allowing him to practice public speaking. The debate team might also help him learn about formal logic and fallacies so he can improve at arguing for or against a position. Like many gifted children, he is drawn to current events and controversial subjects, so the debate team would be a good fit.

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