Humor and Gifted Kids

gtchat 07192018 Humor

This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT we explored the relationship between humor and gifted kids. Our guest was Jo Freitag, #gtchat Advisor and founder/coordinator of Gifted Resources in Victoria, Australia. She also blogs at the Gifted Resources Blog and  Sprite’s Site. Jo wrote a great post at Sprite’s Site about this week’s chat, The Punch Line!

Gifted children with advanced abilities well beyond their years can manipulate and play with words in demonstrating verbal ability. They enjoy puns and word games which lead to seeing everyday situations in a comedic light.

Recognition and appreciation of adult humor is often part of an extensive native knowledge base possessed by intellectually gifted children. They may enjoy absurd types of humor such as Monty Python. Higher levels of intelligence permit the gifted child to be more quick witted and display a sense of humor that belies their ability to interpret everyday experiences in a different light than age-peers or even older children.

What are some of the downsides of verbal ability for gifted children? Language abilities tend to shine a light on gifted children making them a target of age-peers who don’t understand them. This can lead to teasing and verbal bullying. When bored in the classroom, gifted children may be prone to express thoughts and feelings conceived as being a ‘class clown’; considered an annoyance by teachers and even other high achievers in the classroom.

Teachers and professionals can use ‘sense of humor’ as an indicator of giftedness.  Recognizing a mature sense of humor is an easy way to begin the identification process. Expressions of humor deemed beyond that of age-peers may reveal a gifted child in hiding. Teachers and professionals can provide opportunities for gifted students to express humor in settings such as school talent shows.

What can teachers do to develop humor potential in gifted children? They may use satire in Greek drama, political cartooning, or investigate bathos (anticlimax; especially in literature) and pathos (pity, sadness; in rhetoric, film, or literature) to develop humor potential in gifted children. Teachers can encourage using humor appropriately and at appropriate times; using humor for positive purposes; and give students time to explore different types of humor. They should model appropriate forms of humor that show students the need to be considerate of others’ feelings; emphasizing the importance of developing positive relationships with age-peers.

Humor can also help gifted children deal with stress. At work and school, it can increase creative output and thus reduce negativity associated with stress. Humor is a natural way to reduce stress; to recognize social injustice and work to seek a way forward involving fairness and equality in society. Humor and laughter can enhance enjoyable leisure activities. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

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:


It’s a Funny Thing: A Gifted Child’s Sense of Humor

Characteristics of Gifted Children: A Closer Look

Verbal Humor in Gifted Students and Students in the General Population: A Comparison of Spontaneous Mirth and Comprehension (Abstract Only)

Affective Trait 5: Advanced Sense of Humour (pdf)

The Double-Edged Sword of Giftedness, Part 2: Affective Traits

Tips for Parents: Teaching the Use of Humor to Cope with Stress

An Investigation of the Role of Humor in the Lives of Highly Creative Young Adults (pdf)

The Power of Humor in Ideation and Creativity

Haha and aha! : Creativity, Idea Generation, Improvisational Humor, and Product Design (pdf)

The Power of Laughter: Seven Secrets to Living and Laughing in a Stressful World (Amazon)

The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach (Amazon)

Using Improvisation to Enhance the Effectiveness of Brainstorming (pdf)

How to Spot a Gifted Child

Raisin’ Brains: Surviving My Smart Family (Amazon)

Neuroscience of Giftedness: Greater Connectivity Across Brain Regions

Class Clown or Gifted Student? It’s A Matter of Perspective

Comedians’ Smarts, Humor, and Creativity

How Laughing Leads to Learning

The Benefits of Humor in the Classroom

Using Humor in the Classroom

Edublogs Webinar Overview – Using ToonDoo

Health Benefits of Laughter (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Words Page

Cybraryman’s Humor in the Classroom Page

Cybraryman’s Educational Puns Page

Photos courtesy of Jo Freitag and Natasha Bertrand.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Posted on July 24, 2018, in Creative Thinking, creativity, Emotional Intelligence, gifted and talented, Identification, Psychology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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