Best Movies & Television for Inspiring Gifted Kids

gtchat 06142018 Movies

This week at #gtchat, we explored movies and television that inspire gifted kids. They can portray gifted children in a negative light. Negativity, however, is often in the eye of the beholder. Movies and television programs reflect popular culture; and for that reason portray gifted children in a way they feel meets their audience’s expectations. Those which show gifted children in a one-dimensional light – smart kid who’s socially inept; the perfect student; a child regarded only for their contributions to society … these are negative portrayals.

What’s the downside of movies and television portraying gifted children only as geniuses or nerds? Kids are kids; they process what they see on the big and small screen. Gifted children rarely receive guidance on how to perceive these images and many adopt negative responses to being seen only for their intelligence or talents. When gifted children believe that they are only appreciated for their brain power, it can affect not only their behavior towards others but also their self-image. A poor self-image can lead to mental health issues and worse.

When gifted children see kids like themselves valued by society in films and television, they will benefit in how they see themselves and how they interact with others. Self-worth is a powerful motivator to be successful, respectful, and empathetic toward others. It improves their quality of life and of those around them; with family members, schoolmates, and teachers.

“When gifted kids see an “average” child in film or on television, they don’t see a reflection of themselves. They see someone with whom they can’t identify. This contributes to a sense separateness & increases feelings of isolation. Representation does the opposite.” ~ Jeffrey Farley, M.Ed., District Special Programs Coordinator, Beaumont ISD

When integrated into a gifted curriculum, movies and television can be a powerful teaching tool to guide students; to project role-models; to inspire creativity; to promote social consciousness. Using film and television in the classroom requires careful scrutiny of resources prior to their use. Teachers should be cognizant of individual needs of their students.

Many are fans of the recent movie, “Gifted”. They did a good job of portraying a multi-dimensional character in a highly relatable situation in a realistic way. It was obvious they knew their subject matter. Another film, Incredibles 2, debuts this week. The original, The Incredibles, has been a favorite of parents. Many films in the scifi genre include gifted children. They can often provide kids with a positive role-model.

Please check out our resources listed below! A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet which includes many great suggestions for movies and television programs that can inspire gifted children.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Movie: Gifted (2017) (Preview YouTube 2:34)

Movie: The Incredibles (Trailer YouTube 2:24)

Movie: The Incredibles 2 (Trailer YouTube 2:16)

Reel Life this Ain’t

Sprite’s Site: Gifted in Reel Life

Columbo: Breaking Gifted Stereotypes

Movies Featuring Gifted Kids (and Adults!)

25 of Our Favorite Gifted Kid Movies

Giftedness in the Media

Film Producer Seeks Honest Portrayal of Growing Up Gifted

10 Movies Gifted Children Will Love

Gifted Role Models in Literature and Film

The Impact of Popular Culture on Gifted Children

Cinematherapy in Gifted Education Identity Development: Integrating the Arts through STEM-Themed Movies (pdf)

Using Movies to Guide: Teachers and Counselors Collaborating to Support Gifted Students (pdf)

Fostering The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children through Guided Viewing of Film

The Literacy Shed: Alma

Sprite’s Site: Googlebox

Sprite’s Site: Googlebox 2

Cybraryman’s Teaching with Movies Page

Observations on Gifted the Movie

AUS: Gifted Resources Film Discussion Series

Duke TIP: A Look at the Movie “Gifted”

GHF: Gifted in Reel Life

Image used with permission


Chat image courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad


Posted on June 18, 2018, in Creative Thinking, family, gifted and talented, parenting, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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