Language Arts Curricula for Gifted Students
I am a great fan of the various language arts curricula that has come out of the Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary. It is truly geared towards the gifted learner, employing high level thinking skills and a strong writing component. Two relatively new types of units are Navigators and Jacobs Ladder.
Navigators are collections of questions and activities for group or independent study that use selected novels or picture books. Navigators are designed for grades 1-12. These novel studies encourage advanced readers to develop their skills for analyzing and interpreting literature through structured questions and activities that highlight themes and concepts, literary elements, and real world connections. They also help students to develop vocabulary and writing skills by exploring and emulating the language and style used by authors.
Several Navigators for grades 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 3-5, 3-6, and 4-6 are available online, for free, so you can get a taste of the structure and questioning techniques used.
Jacobs Ladder targets reading comprehension skills in highly able learners in grades 3-5. The three skill ladders use individual readings in poetry, myths/fables, and nonfiction. Students move through an inquiry process from basic understanding to critical analyses. Ladder rungs are organized to increase complexity in intellectual demand. They are all based on Paul’s (1992) Elements of Reasoning Model.
Here is an order form for materials.