Gifted Readers and Reading Instruction (page 3)

By — Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)
Updated on Jul 26, 2007

Dooley (1993) mentions the extra effort needed to provide appropriate reading instruction for the gifted reader in whole language classrooms. She argues for curriculum compacting and a differentiated curriculum--points mentioned earlier in this Digest.

Curriculum compacting is a "systematic process through which proficiency in the basic curriculum is assured and time is made available for enrichment and acceleration" (Dooley, 1993). Students are first assessed on their mastery of the skills to be taught in the next reading unit--if they have already mastered those skills, they do not participate in the unit. To facilitate the learning of concepts and skills that have not yet been mastered, students might be asked to join the group when those particular skills are being taught, or the skills could be explained individually or in small groups of students. Another method might be the use of structured materials that deal with the concept (Dooley, 1993).

"When curriculum compacting is implemented, many highly able readers have time available for participating in a differentiated reading program. This program should not be more of the regular program. Instead it should focus on content and process modifications that reflect gifted students' instructional needs" (Dooley, 1993). Such modifications can give students the chance to read in depth on a theme or topic, even if it is not part of the regular curriculum.

Eppele (1989) and Shaughnessy (1993) offer two bibliographies which provide many sources of information on the gifted reader in the classroom.

Dooley, Cindy (1993). "The Challenge: Meeting the Needs of Gifted Readers." Reading Teacher, 46(7), 546-51. [EJ 460 923]
Eppele, Ruth (1989). "Gifted Students and Reading." Focused Access to Selected Topics (FAST) Bibliography. Bloomington, IN:ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills. [ED 307 572]
Ganopole, Selina J. (1988). "Reading and Writing for the Gifted: A Whole Language Perspective." Roeper Review, 11(2), 88-92. [EJ 387 275]
Halsted, Judith Wynn (1990). "Guiding the Gifted Reader." ERIC Digest. Reston, VA: ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children. [ED 321 486]
Hellmich, Nanci (1995). "Special Programs Help Gifted Kids Excel." USA Today, (30 March 1995, Section D-1).
Jackson, Nancy Ewald (1988). "Precocious Reading Ability: What Does It Mean?" Gifted Child Quarterly, 32(1), 200-04. [EJ 382 037]
Levande, David (1993). "Identifying and Serving the Gifted Reader." Reading Improvement, 30(3), 147-50. [EJ 470 356]
McIntosh, Margaret E. (1982). An Historical Look at Gifted Education As It Relates to Reading Programs for the Gifted. [ED 244 472]
Shaughnessy, Michael, et al (1994). "Gifted and Reading." [ED 368 145]
Shaughnessy, Michael, et al (1993). "Gifted and Reading: A Bibliography." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (San Antonio). [ED 352 600]

ERIC Digests are in the public domain and may be freely reproduced and disseminated, but please acknowledge your source. This publication was prepared with funding from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, under Contract No. RI88062007. The opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of OERI or the Department of Education.

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