Saturday, March 2, 2013

Talking About College with Gifted Kids

This past month, I have had the privilege of teaching an enrichment course for middle and high school gifted learners. This course was offered on Saturdays and focused on all things related to getting ready for college. We covered topics from career exploration, academic preparation, choosing the right school, to tips for writing successful college essays. As we explored topics through discussions, role play, and creative production, I also found ways to integrate artistic expression. The samples below illustrate our Text Self Portraits and Career Trees.

Text Self Portraits
Students were challenged to draw a portrait of themselves using words that describe their personal qualities, aspirations, interests, talents, and career goals. The idea for these was inspired by Ian Byrdseed, who originally used poetry as the basis for the text. However, these can be adapted to illustrate multiple intelligences and social/emotional topics, which are also suitable topics for gifted learners.

Career Trees
The concept for career trees is very similar to text self portraits, with the only difference being that students decide to use a tree or other image to display their message. If students chose a career tree, I encouraged them to list their personal qualities along with traits, qualifications, and skills/background needed for a specific career path or track.

Talking about College with Podcast Interviews 
To recap key points, I decided to utilize podcasts.  It was surprised yet excited that my creative tech savvy students were not as familiar with podcasts.  I had them create a fictional talk show to review and inform listeners on a topic that stuck out most to them or that they found to be most important.  So with just a few clicks and guidelines, here is what they came up with.


  1. Hello again Mrs. Deyamport! I loved this post! I shared it with everyone in my work office. We loved the podcasts that your kids produced. Are the English accents faked? They did an amazing job all around. The pictures you posted of their text art was equally astonishing. I had never thought to do anything quite like that. I still have lots of research and learning to do! Thank you so much for sharing this. I will definitely do similar projects in the future with my students.

    My assignment regarding your blog will be complete after I publish my post this evening; however, I plan to keep following you. I plan to teach English, and would love to take advantage of anything you have to offer!

    1. Hi Jeanette!

      Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed integrating podcasts and plan to use them more in my elementary gifted classroom. With the abundance of tech tools available, I am very selective about tools that will engage my students, challenge them to channel their creativity, and demonstrate what they have learned. I think podcasts are a neat way to accomplish this. Of course, I am always grateful to my Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter for inspiring these projects!

  2. Hi Ms. Deyamport. I think the portraits were a great idea. The podcast was a good idea to but I think that the portraits can be more personal. It can be a great way for the students to learn to define themselves. I really enjoyed this post. I hope to one day to do projects like these.