Lesson Plans for Gifted Students

Updated July 10, 2019
student studying

Lesson plans for gifted students can be used in any classroom for high ability learners or in special gifted and talented programs. While there is debate over whether specialized gifted and talented programs are necessary or helpful, most educators agree challenging lesson plans like those created for gifted students can help kids open their minds in broader ways than traditional lesson plans.

Printable Lesson Plans for Gifted Elementary Students

Following the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) standards, these enrichment activities for gifted children are challenging, meaningful, and relevant in today's society. Click on the lesson plan you want to use then download and print copies. If you need help using the documents, consult the Adobe guide for assistance.

Make a Positive Change in Your School Lesson Plan

Lower elementary students can work individually or in small groups to make a positive change in their school with this long-term project. Kids will learn to collect and analyze data, identify school community needs, and create a solution that leads to a positive change in their school. The entire project from research to implementation should be student-led.

School Needs Lesson Plan
School Needs Lesson Plan

Who's Missing From Your Library? Lesson Plan

Unique language arts lessons for gifted children include looking deeper into written materials. In this diversity lesson plan upper elementary students will explore their local library's holdings and analyze which population groups are not represented or under-represented in their literature options. Kids will be challenged to maintain a culturally diverse worldview and analyze children's books beyond the standard instruction.

Library Diversity Lesson Plan
Library Diversity Lesson Plan

Simple Gifted Lesson Plan Ideas

Lesson plans for gifted students don't have to be overly complex or time-consuming. Incorporate some simple activities that will challenge advanced students into your daily lesson plans or assign them as individual projects.

Approaches to Teaching the Gifted and Talented

How a teacher deals with the gifted and talented in his/her classroom is going to depend on the programs available at his/her school and the resources available within the classroom setting. Instructional units and challenge activities for gifted students should go beyond grade level standards and expectations. Use these tips for teaching gifted children to help you craft original lessons.

Open-Ended Investigations

Research indicates that gifted students tend to do better and feel more challenged with open-ended investigations. A good open ended investigation doesn't have a correct answer but could have a variety of good answers based on the possibility of changing variables. This might include reading a book and then re-writing the ending, or building a bridge that can hold a certain amount of weight.

Caucasian girl looking into classroom microscope

Across the Curriculum Gifted Lesson Plan

Another way in which gifted students tend to learn well is by integrating a variety of academic disciplines into one study or project. Most gifted students are able to synthesize information and then analyze it relatively well. A great example may be to look at a particular scientific invention idea and then explore how its effect rippled to include the arts, and sciences.

Wealth of Knowledge

Because gifted students are often capable of memorizing vast amounts of information, some educators posit that it's better to feed gifted and talented students a wealth of knowledge. An example might be having a student compete on a knowledge bowl or in an academic decathlon.

Complex Projects

Another way to approach the education of the gifted is to create lesson plans for gifted and talented students that allow them to study things in depth. Gifted students often are able to understand cause-and-effect relationships much better than their peers. They are able to consider a variety of variables and even look at the situation from different view points. A great example of an in-depth project is to look at a particular period of history and study all the people, places and events that define that period.

Teaching Gifted Students

The best approach to creating lesson plans for gifted students is to allow them to follow their interests and run with them. There are many resources you can use to either supplement your lesson plans or help you write effective ones. In doing your lesson planning for gifted students, it's important to be flexible and understand that they may take you in a direction you hadn't intended. That's often when the best learning occurs!

Lesson Plans for Gifted Students