Cover image for Gifted books, gifted readers : literature activities to excite young minds
Gifted books, gifted readers : literature activities to excite young minds
Polette, Nancy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Englewood, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 282 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB1575.5.U5 P64 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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Stretch young minds to creative and productive thought with some of the best literature currently available. Polette shows you how to promote critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving through building excitement for the reading experience and increasing students' active participation in learning. She offers suggestions for creative reproduction, elaboration, rearrangements and transformations of text to help children connect reading content to their own experiences. A wonderful resource for elementary and middle school teachers of the gifted, these books and activities can be used in any classroom. Also an important read for college-level courses on curriculum for the gifted and children's literature.

Author Notes

Nancy J. Polette is Professor Emerita and former Professor of Education, Lindenwood University, O'Fallon, Missouri. She is a national consultant and author specializing in reading, gifted education, library media, and children's literature.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Aiming to help educators of children identified as "gifted," the prolific Polette matches plot summaries for more than 200 children's books (from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel to the Midwife's Apprentice) to activities designed to broaden readers' enjoyment and help them "peel the words off the page and get to the ideas underneath." The books are grouped by broad topics or themes: picture books that address perceived needs ("The Need for Beauty, Order, and Harmony," "The Need to Cope with Stress," etc); fantasy and fairy tales; books that explore human diversity; historical fiction; and "Heroines and Heroes." The chapter covering classics and poetry is the work of Joan Ebbesmeyer, reprinted from a 1995 publication. The exercises range from using the Venn diagram to compare titles to creating word puzzles and alternative versions to just pondering Big Questions ("What is the difference between reality and illusion? Give specific examples.") Titles don't appear in the table of contents, but they are listed, along with authors and subjects, in the index. Books published after 1998 are not included, and the controversies surrounding the character of Friday in Robinson Crusoe and the book Brother Eagle, Sister Sky aren't addressed. Still, as a source of ideas, research topics, and discussion starters, this will make a valuable companion to such books as Halsted's Some of My Best Friends Are Books (1994), and similar works. --John Peters

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Chapter 1 Literature for the Gifted: A Gateway to Greatnessp. 1
Imagination Illuminates Realityp. 2
Inspired Writersp. 2
Books to Add Zestp. 3
Books as Experiencep. 4
Traits and Needs of Gifted Childrenp. 5
Notesp. 6
Chapter 2 Picture Books for Gifted Programsp. 7
The Need to Belongp. 7
The Need to Achieve and Feel Self-Esteemp. 11
About Black Bearsp. 17
The Need for Beauty, Order, and Harmonyp. 17
The Need to Cope with Stressp. 20
The Need for Laughter, Nonsense, and Expanded Vocabularyp. 23
The Need to Know and Extend Developing Conceptsp. 28
The Need to Know and Extend Developing Concepts: Animal Familiesp. 30
The Need to Know and Extend Developing Concepts: Community Helpersp. 33
The Need to Know and Extend Developing Concepts: Africap. 37
Introducing the Unitp. 37
Geographyp. 38
Problem Solvingp. 38
The Need to Know and Extend Developing Concepts: Rocksp. 41
The Need to Know and Extend Developing Concepts: Robotsp. 44
The Need to Know and Extend Developing Concepts: Earthwatchp. 47
Favorite Picture and Poetry Books of the 1990sp. 53
Chapter 3 Exercising the Imagination: Fairy Tales and Fantasyp. 57
Reading the World with Folktales: Chinap. 58
More Tales from Chinap. 60
Reading the World with Folktales: South Africap. 61
Reading the World with Folktales: Great Britain and Switzerlandp. 62
Reading the World with Folktales: Mexicop. 63
Reading the World with Folktales: Perup. 64
About Perup. 64
Reading the World with Folktales: Russiap. 65
About Russiap. 65
Reading the World with Folktales: Australiap. 66
Folktales in U.S. Studiesp. 67
Fantasyp. 70
Chapter 4 The Classics and Poetryp. 105
Introductionp. 105
To the Teacherp. 106
Activities to Improve Skills Through Classic Literaturep. 106
Creative Thinkingp. 106
Critical Thinkingp. 106
Vocabularyp. 106
Problem Solvingp. 106
Imagingp. 106
Observationp. 107
Children's Classicsp. 108
Classic Author: Robert Louis Stevensonp. 108
Classic Author: Jules Vernep. 112
Classic Author: Howard Pylep. 114
Classic Author: Johann Wyssp. 117
Classic Author: Mark Twainp. 118
Classic Author: Jack Londonp. 121
Classic Author: Washington Irvingp. 124
Classic Author: Rudyard Kiplingp. 126
Classic Author: Kenneth Grahamep. 130
Classic Author: James Barriep. 132
Classic Author: Daniel Defoep. 133
Classic Author: Johanna Spyrip. 135
Introducing Shakespearep. 138
"Romeo and Juliet"
Ocean Voyages: A Thematic Unit Blending the Classics and Contemporary Literaturep. 143
Chapter 5 Exploring Diversityp. 149
A Picture Book for All Agesp. 149
Native American Folklore: Picture Bookp. 151
Native American Folktales: Brother Eagle, Sister Skyp. 155
Native Americans: Novelp. 156
Native Americans Today: Novelsp. 159
African-Americans: Picture Bookp. 159
More Picture Books to Readp. 161
Reconciling Differences: Novelp. 162
African-Americans: Novelp. 165
The African-American Hero: Novelp. 169
Hispanic Folktales: Picture Booksp. 172
Hispanic Americans: Picture Booksp. 173
Hispanic Americans: Novelsp. 175
Hispanic Literature: Novelsp. 177
Asian-Americans: Picture Booksp. 179
Asian Literaturep. 180
Clash of Culturesp. 184
Asian-Americansp. 186
The New Immigrants: Early 1900sp. 186
The World War II Internment and Release of Japanese-Americans: 1940sp. 187
Immigrants from Cambodia: 1980sp. 187
Chapter 6 Learning from the Pastp. 189
The Middle Agesp. 189
About King Arthurp. 193
About the Round Tablep. 193
U.S. Historyp. 197
Related Readingp. 198
World War IIp. 220
Chapter 7 Heroines and Heroesp. 229
Heroines: Picture Booksp. 229
Heroines: Novelsp. 236
Adventures with a Female Indiana Jones!p. 236
Heroes: Picture Books--Real Life Heroesp. 249
Anton Leeuwenhoekp. 249
Abraham Lincolnp. 250
Elijah McCoyp. 250
Bob Lemmonsp. 250
Neil Armstrongp. 252
Heroes: Novelsp. 253
Author/Title/Subject Indexp. 271