These students potentially differ from their classmates on three key dimensions (Maker, 1982):
  1. the pace at which they learn
  2. the depth of their understanding
  3. the interests that they hold.
In order to develop instructional programs that will meet the needs of gifted students in regular classroom settings, it is necessary to address and accommodate these defining characteristics.[1]

Motivating Students to Work and Learn

Gifted and talented students often benefit from activities that are different from activities for mainstream students. These "alternative activities should extend basic concepts and allow students to connect their personal interests to the course curriculum. Extra credit activities should be avoided as they send a message that more work is required."


Two strategies that are helpful to teachers in managing alternative activities are COMPACTING and CONTRACTS.

COMPACTING. Students who demonstrate previous mastery spend less time with the regular curriculum and more time with extension and enrichment opportunities.

CONTRACTS. Written agreements between teachers and students that outline what students will learn, how they will learn it, in what period of time, and how they will be evaluated. Contracts allow students to engage actively in the decision-making process, directing their course of study (Parke, 1989, pp.70-71).

Guidelines for Evaluation of Alternative Works[2]


  1. Alternative student work is more easily managed when student activities require more than one class period to complete. In mathematics, for example, students might research the real world applications of the course content, work with various number bases, or investigate the lives of famous mathematicians. In writing or English classes, students might work on more complex or open-ended writing assignments, or investigate the writing style of several authors.
  2. When eligible students work on alternative activities, the goal should be to provide them with opportunities to master challenging tasks. They would earn the same credit as if they had completed the regular tasks as long as they adhere to the agreed-upon working conditions.
  3. Alternative work extends the regular curriculum. Therefore, extension projects should earn at least a grade of B or the equivalent because the students are going beyond what is required.
  4. All criteria for evaluation should be presented and understood before students begin an extended activity. Teacher expectations should be clearly stated.
  5. Students earn a grade of B if the completed work represents typical research that merely reports secondary sources and if the presentation is properly made to an appropriate audience.
  6. Students earn a grade of A if the completed work represents unique or creative research, provides evidence of primary sources, represents an interesting or unusual synthesis of available data, or the material is presented in an original manner.
  7. It is important for students to understand that they need to be working productively during school time. If they do not follow the expected working conditions, they need to rejoin the regular instructional group and may be required to make up some of the regular work. If students become immersed in the topic and wish to continue beyond the expected date, they must provide a progress report at regular intervals.
  8. If point systems, rubrics, or holistic assessment methods are used for other activities, these methods may also be used to evaluate students' extended projects. Students may become engaged in the creation of the scoring rubrics and evaluate their own work as the project progresses by measuring their project against the rubric criteria. Responsibility for evaluating student work is then shared between teacher and students.
(Natalie)

There is a table in our book :inclusion of exceptional learners in Canadian Schools-- Table 3.2 pg(77)

Sophistication: introduce students to the theories and concepts that underlie the content being learned by the class
Novelty: students explore required curricular from different and unique perspectives
Authentic Problem Solving: students apply their knowledge and skills to problems tat are significant to their own lives
Independent studies: students pursue an area of personal interest or investigate a topic from the curriculum on their own
Telescoping: taking advantage of the overlap in curricula of adjacent grades, students do two curricula in a year
Compacting: after discerning what the student already knows of the unit, provide assignments so the student can master unfamiliar material . then provide enrichment activities in the compacted area.
Ability grouping: students work with their intellectual peers on a regular, part-time basis, within the classroom or outside the classroom, providing social and emotional support, as well as intellectual stimulation
Mentor programs: students apply their knowldege and skills in a hands-on, real life setting under the supervision of an adult in the community. they can pursue special interests, grow in self confidence and try possible career paths.
open-ended assignments: students are given options for completing assignments and decide how far to take their learning.
Tiered assignments: you prepare a range of distinct assignments, from fairly simple to complex, all focusing on key learning outcomes for the lesson or unit. students may be assigned a particular activity or activities you may select one activity to be completed by everyone and allow students to choose another, or students may choose the level of assignments they will complete.
(Emily)
  1. ^ http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/e513.html
  2. ^ Providing Curriculum Alternatives to Motivated Gifted Students

    Hutchinson, N. L. (2010). Inclusion of Exceptional Learners in Canadian Schools: A Practical Handbook for Teachers. Toronto, Ontario: Pearson Canada Inc.