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Curriculum Enrichment Resources

"All students should be challenged to experience and learn new things every day..." Colleen Kessler, in Hands-on Ecology: Real-life Activities for Kids

"The ill-structured problems at the core of the units... require students to engage a creative approach to articulate the goals, turn them into coordinated subgoals, and reach a solution.  This kind of intellectual behavior has been cited as one of the hallmarks of giftedness." Kenneth J. Smith, in Challenging Units for Gifted Learners: Teaching the Way Gifted Students Think: Math

Also visit ... Homeschool Curricula, Internet Investigations, (Free) Online High School Courses and Materials for Gifted Classrooms

Advanced Placement Classroom (grades 7-12)
User-friendly guides to teaching one of Shakespeare’s classic plays, at the AP level.  Includes reproducibles to supplement classroom debates, projects, writings and more...  Also
bullet Advanced Placement Classroom: Hamlet by Timothy J. Duggan (or from Amazon)
bulletAdvanced Placement Classroom: Julius Caeser by Timothy J. Duggan (or from Amazon)
bulletAdvanced Placement Classroom: King Lear by R. Brigham Lampert (or from Amazon)
bullet Advanced Placement Classroom: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Kathryn L. Johnson and Laurie Heinemann (or from Amazon)
bullet Advanced Placement Classroom: Macbeth by James M. Conley and Daniel G. Lipowitz (or from Amazon)
bullet Advanced Placement Classroom: Romeo and Juliet by R. Brigham Lampert (or from Amazon)
 
Beast Academy Recommended (grade 3 with more to come!) from Art of Problem Solving By Jason Batterson, Shannon Rogers, illustrated by Erich Owen
For aspiring math beasts in grades 2-5. Each level (4 per grade) includes a full-color, graphic-novel-style guide book, and a corresponding practice book.  Amazing content, plenty of depth and practice, and very appealing to gifted kids!
bullet Beast Academy 3A shapes, skip-counting, perimeter and area
bulletBeast Academy 3B multiplication, perfect squares, the distributive property
bulletBeast Academy 3C variables, division, measurement
 
Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun: 22 Super-Charged Projects for Kids by Michael J. Caduto (ages 8 - 13) (or from Barnes & Noble)
The serious topics of global warming and energy production, use, and conservation are combined with a self-empowerment, can-do message. Stories, humor, photos, cartoons and diagrams illustrate the fun. Begin with background information, then projects that range from the intensive bicycle-powered generator to a simpler energy-conservation board game. A few activities require specialized supplies, tools, and adult help, while others, like the “Party-Balloon Wind Gauge,” do not. Concludes with extension ideas that encourage scientific and creative thinking. Young “Green Giants” who have made significant differences to the environment are highlighted...
 
Challenging Units for Gifted Learners: Teaching the Way Gifted Students Think by Kenneth J. Smith (and Susan Stonequist, Math) (grades 6-8)
... Try all four:
bullet Challenging Units for Gifted Learners: Math (or from Amazon)
bullet Challenging Units for Gifted Learners: Science (or from Amazon)
bullet Challenging Units for Gifted Learners: Social Studies (or from Amazon)
bullet Challenging Units for Gifted Learners: Language Arts (or from Amazon)
 
The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action by Cathryn Berger Kaye
Service learning in the curriculum, including ideas, activities, quotes, and books to read...  (grades K-12)
A Kids' Guide to Helping Others Read & Succeed by Cathryn Berger Kaye
Learn about literacy, and how you can help! (ages 6 and up, use with or without The Complete Guide...)
A Kids' Guide to Hunger & Homelessness by Cathryn Berger Kaye
Learn causes and effects, and what you can do to help... (ages 6 and up, use with or without The Complete Guide...)
 
Creating Award-Winning History Fair Projects: The Complete Handbook for Teachers, Parents and Students by Helen Bass (grades 6-12)
History fair contenders have not, until now, had a guidebook for their efforts.  All that is changed...  Bass offers teachers details on how to organize their own local history fair, and how to guide their students through each step, including the research, writing, constructing visual displays, and creating interactive dialogues.  Worksheets and keys, sample judging forms, and many more reproducible handouts are also included...
 
Differentiating Instruction With Centers in the Gifted Classroom by Julia L. Roberts and Julia Roberts Boggess (grades K-8) (or from Amazon)
Provides ideas and guidance for creating classroom centers to challenge gifted learners and encourage high-level, independent thinking. Develop in-depth learning on a variety of topics. Discusses using centers in each content area, with suggestions from experts in the content areas and easy-to-implement lessons beyond the core curriculum...
 
Differentiation That Really Works by Cheryll M. Adams and Rebecca L. Pierce (grades 6-12) (or from Amazon)
Time-saving tips and strategies from real teachers who teach language arts or science in grades 6–12. These teachers not only developed the materials and used them in their own classes, but they also provide useful feedback and comments about the activities. The strategies included in the book are tiered lessons, cubing, graphic organizers, exit cards, learning contracts, and choice boards...
bullet Differentiation That Really Works: Language Arts
bullet Differentiation That Really Works: Science
bullet Differentiation That Really Works: Math
bulletAnd for the lower grades...
bulletDifferentiation That Really Works: Strategies from Real Teachers for Real Classrooms (Grades 3-5)
bulletDifferentiation That Really Works: Strategies from Real Teachers for Real Classrooms (Grades 1-2)
 
 
Electing the President: An Interactive Simulation on the Electoral Process by Betty See
Motivating, hands-on simulation that lets students experience the exciting process of electing the President and Vice President of the United States. As the two parties square off, students take on the roles of candidates, convention delegates, and members of the Electoral College. Updated to reflect the most recent Census data, this book includes complete teacher instructions and all necessary student handouts to provide an easy-to-stage simulation that can be used with small or large groups...
 
Envision by Melanie L. Bondy
Based on Bloom's Taxonomy, Envision offers the kinds of projects teachers and students love.  All the details are planned and contained inside, from introductory letters home to grading rubrics for teachers and students, student steps, guidelines and samples, even the signs and certificates you'll need for the final presentation.  The projects are fun and creative, with lots of room for personalization, so that students can make their project their own, and teachers will never be bored with the results, even year after year.  Envision packages are available for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades...
 
Guiding Advanced Readers in Middle School by Teresa Masiello
Teachers, here's your differentiation guide for middle school readers. Challenge and inspire the gifted middle school student, plus reproducibles on literature circles, tiered activities, graphic organizers, and higher-level thinking discussion questions
 
Hands-on Archaelogy: Real-life Activities for Kids by John R. White (grades 3-5) (or from Amazon)
White is an experienced archaeologist and anthropologist. His book teaches the fundamentals of archaeology by having students excavate empty lots of recently demolished buildings...
 
Hands-on Ecology: Real-life Activities for Kids by Colleen Kessler (grades 3-5) (or from Amazon)
Engage kids in practical hands-on classroom activities.  Environmental studies are a great way to introduce kids to science field-work, and teach them important things about the world they live in, while helping them understand, and perhaps shape, their future earth...
 
Hands-on Engineering: Real-life Activities for Kids by Beth L. Andrews (grades 4-7)
Prompts students to understand and apply design and engineering methodologies as they create innovative solutions to challenges: think analytically, assess new situations, and solve a hands-on, real-world problem. As students design their own boats, skyscrapers, wheelbarrows, hammocks, and more, they will need perseverance, imagination, and teamwork. Emphasis on practical skills, problem solving, and collaboration makes it an ideal tool with which to teach valuable 21st-century skills...
 
Hands-On Geometry: Constructions With a Straightedge and Compass by Christopher M. Freeman (grades 4-6) (or from Amazon)
Teaches students to draw accurate constructions of equilateral triangles, squares, and regular hexagons, octagons, and dodecagons; construct kites and use their diagonals to construct altitudes, angle bisectors, perpendicular bisectors, and the inscribed and circumscribed circles of any triangle; construct perpendicular lines and rectangles, parallel lines, and parallelograms; and construct a regular pentagon and a golden rectangle...
 
Hands-on Physical Science: 75 Real-Life Activities for Kids by Laurie Westphal (grades 4-8) (or from Amazon)
Exciting classroom activities such as an examination of Newton s laws by building Alka-Seltzer rockets, a lesson on energy through the design and building of roller coasters, and a look at chemical and physical changes through the creation of paper...
 
Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program by Joyce VanTassel-Baska and Tamra Stambaugh (grades 2-3, 4-5, and 6-8) (or from Amazon)
Targets reading comprehension skills in all ability learners by moving students through an inquiry process from basic understanding to critical analyses of texts, using a field-tested method developed by the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary. Students learn to comprehend and analyze any reading passage after completing the activities in these books.  Great for all students, especially gifted students...
bullet Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program - Primary Level 1 (grades K-1) (or from Amazon)
bullet Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program - Primary Level 2 (grades 1-2) (or from Amazon)
bullet Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program, Level 1 (grades 2-3) (or from Amazon)
bullet Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program, Level 2 (grades 4-5) (or from Amazon)
bullet Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program, Level 3 (grades 6-8) (or from Amazon)
bullet Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program, Level 4 (grades 7-9) (or from Amazon)
bullet Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program, Level 5 (grades 7-9) (or from Amazon)
bullet Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program Set of 5 (grades 2-9)
 
Life of Fred Recommended by Stanley Schmidt
10 volumes cover basic arithmetic from Apples to Jelly Beans. After arithmetic but before high school math, explore fractions, decimals, beginning of algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, trig, all of calculus and statistics, Fred's life is full of interesting mathematics!  Great homeschooling math curriculum, covering everything needed from arithmetic through second year of college... (subtly Christian)
 
Make Up Your Mind: A Classroom Guide to 10 Age-Old Debates by Clark G. Porter with James M. Firsch (grades 7-10) (or from Amazon)
Presents 10 pervasive intellectual conflicts that have bedeviled the world of ideas for centuries and continue to influence modern thought, including free will vs. determinism, nature vs. nurture, and liberalism vs. conservatism...
 
Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum Recommended by Michael Clay Thompson, from Royal Fireworks Press
I don't know how to explain Michael Clay Thompson's curriculum, except to say... gifted students, no matter where their gifts lie, need this curriculum.  I had the honor of hearing Michael speak about his Grammar Voyage and The Magic Lens grammar curricula and Practice Sentence student workbook series... and I was enthralled.  Please know, I am a math-y and a computer geek - I do not do language arts, if I can help it.  But this curriculum made grammar interesting to me!  Word Within The Word offers middle and secondary level, vocabulary-building curriculum that is like no other.  Sentence Island, Paragraph Town and Essay Voyage form the elementary writing curriculum.  And there's much more... investigate all the Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum  For videos of Michael Clay Thompson's presentations, and to see why this math-geek is so excited by his curriculum, view Michael Clay Thompson Videos. And read Cathy Duffy reviews... Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts
 
More Units of Instruction for Gifted Learners by Sonia Hood, Murray Peters, Cindy Sheets, Telia Gilcrest, Connie Simons and Carissa Wiedle (grades 2-7) (or from Amazon)
Ready to use, field-tested gifted enrichment units, in math, science, and interdisciplinary units.  Each unit has 5-7 lessons, including all the worksheets, teachers guides, keys, and extensions for each lesson...  Also Units of Instruction for Gifted Learners by Diana Brigham, Jessica Fell, Constance Simons, and Kathy Strunk (or from Amazon)
 
On-the-Job Math Mysteries: Real-Life Math From Exciting Careers by Marya Washington Tyler (grades 4-8) (or from Amazon)
Exciting math word problems taken from real-world situations, from interviews with people in unique professions, such as circus performers, a bush pilot, and a railroad engineer, providing students with real-life contexts for how math is used in people’s daily lives. Students will to help solve their mathematical dilemmas... Also by Tyler,  Real Life Math Mysteries: A Kid's Answer to the Question, "What Will We Ever Use This For?" (or from Amazon)
 
The Private Eye School: More One-Hour Mysteries for the Classroom by Mary Ann Carr (grades 4-8) (or from Amazon)
Classroom-ready investigations meet Language Arts and Science and Reasoning standards, while teaching kids to analyze and solve mysteries logically while thinking outside the box...
 
Ready-To-Use Differentiation Strategies by Laurie E. Westphal (grades 6-8) (or from Amazon)
Not all differentiation strategies need to be time consuming and complex in development on the part of the teacher. Introduces various low-preparation, low-stress differentiation activities and strategies that can be implemented immediately in any content area. Each differentiation strategy encourages higher level thinking and intellectual risk taking while accommodating different learning styles... Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
 
Red Hot Root Words Book 1: Mastering Vocabulary With Prefixes, Suffixes, and Root Words (grades 3-5) and Red Hot Root Words Book 2 (grades 6-9) by Dianne Draze
Help students improve their mastery of the English language and acquire the keys for understanding thousands of words by studying Greek and Latin word parts (prefixes, root words, and suffixes)... (or from Amazon: Book 1 and Book 2)
 
Rockin' Root Words: Book 1 (grades 3-5) and Book 2 (grades 6-8) by Manisha Shelley Kaura and S. R. Kaura
An exciting twist on vocabulary development! Students enjoy learning the roots, suffixes, and prefixes of more than 500 common vocabulary, words presented in an easy-to-follow style that utilizes visual learning and word maps to enhance student comprehension and memory... (or from Amazon: Book 1 and Book 2)
 
Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Preschool to High School Recommended by Judith Wynn Halsted
Roeper Review says it all: "...should be on the shelf of every school library, whether that school offers gifted programming or not."  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
 
Spatial Reasoning Puzzles That Make Kids Think! (grades 6-8) by Jeffrey J. Wanko (or from Amazon)
Engage even the most reluctant math learner. Students conquer four types of logical and spatial reasoning puzzles (Slitherlink, Hashiwokakero, Masyu, and Yajilin). The rules for each type of puzzle are very different, but easy to understand. The challenge is for students to apply their critical thinking skills to new situations and develop new strategies for solving each puzzle...
 
Strategies for the Tech-Savvy Classroom by Diane Witt (grades 4-8) (or from Prufrock from Amazon)
Each volume contains 24 stories that encourage divergent thinking to explain.  Students ask yes/no questions, and attempt to figure out the "twist" that explains everything... (Ten volumes in the set)
 
Super Smart: 180 Challenging Thinking Activities, Words, And Ideas for Advanced Students by Stephen S. Young (grades 5-12) (or from Amazon)
These short, attention-getting mind stretchers serve to grab the students' attention and create a frame of mind and an atmosphere of fun, curiosity, or discovery conductive to getting kids off to a good start. There are three hooks for each day: a vocabulary word, a thought for the day, and a critical thinking hook...
 
Super Smart Math: 180 Warm-Ups and Challenging Activities by Rebecca George (grades 5-8) (or from Amazon)
Organized by mathematical topics, the book offers 180 days worth of activities, problems, and critical thinking challenges that become increasingly difficult...
 
Super Smart Science: 180 Days of Warm-Ups and Challenging Activities by Colleen Kessler (grades 5-8) (or from Amazon)
Teaching kids to think critically and flexibly is important, especially in science.  Kessler's Warm-Ups offer a new puzzle each day of the year, with facts and details that are sure to capture the interest and imagination of students.  Each day begins with a "thought" from a great scientist, then includes either a teaser or a quick activity, either hands-on or for the students to observe and hypothesize...
 
Stories with Twists by Thomas Milton Kemnitz (grades 4-12)
Each volume contains 24 stories that encourage divergent thinking to explain.  Students ask yes/no questions, and attempt to figure out the "twist" that explains everything... (Ten volumes in the set)
 
Supreme Court Decisions: Scenarios, Simulations, and Activities for Understanding and Evaluating 14 Landmark Court Cases by Jeffery Socks
Students will use these cases to learn how to... create an Amicus Curiae Brief, participate in a Debate, write a Letter to the Editor, create a Flow Chart, Mind Mapping, Venn Diagram or Multimedia Presentation, conduct an Interview, and many more activities.  14 landmark cases from 1819 to 1969...
 
What's Your Opinion? by Richard G. Cote & Darcy O. Blauvelt (grades 6-8) (or from Amazon)
Real-world activities and open-ended opportunities within tiered lessons. Students use debate to analyze texts and develop persuasive speaking and reading skills...
 
William & Mary's Center for Gifted Education Curriculum Units Recommended
Science, Language Arts, and more curriculum units for gifted students.  Check the Literature Web and Resource Guide to Mathematics Curriculum for High Ability Learners in Grades K-8  (requires Adobe Reader) Purchase individual units through Prufrock Press:
bullet Survive and Thrive (Life Science, grades K–1) (or from Amazon)
bulletHow the Sun Makes Our Day (Earth and Space Science. grade K–1) (or from Amazon)
bullet Water Works (Physical Science, grades K–1) (or from Amazon)
bulletBudding Botanist (Life Science, grades 1–2) (or from Amazon)
bullet Weather Reporter (Earth and Space Science. grade 2) (or from Amazon)
bullet What's the Matter? (Physical Science, grades 2–3) (or from Amazon)
bulletDig It! (Earth & Space Science, grades 3) (or from Amazon)
bullet Spatial Reasoning (Mathematics, grades 2–4) (or from Amazon)
bullet Invitation to Invent (Physical Science, grades 3–4) (or from Amazon)
bullet Beyond Base Ten (Mathematics, grades 3–6) (or from Amazon)
bullet Moving Through Dimensions (Mathematics, grades 6–8) (or from Amazon)
bulletand more!
 
Word Roots: Learning the Building Blocks of Spelling and Vocabulary (or from Amazon: Word Roots Level A and Word Roots Level B) by Cher Blanchard, from The Critical Thinking Company
Recognize prefixes, roots, and suffixes that reveal a word's meaning... also available in
 

Last updated March 29, 2014 

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