Appropriate Reading Instruction for Gifted Students

Gifted readers are those kids who read much earlier than expected and quickly progress to advanced reading levels. They enjoy reading, make good book selections, and display enthusiasm about reading. (S. Reis) Gifted readers read independently, read often, and are identified as having advanced language skills. (S. Reis)

Gifted readers possess unique reading needs. It is important to note first what they don’t need: drills on basic word and comprehension skills. Gifted readers need challenging material to remain engaged in the reading curriculum; easily turned off by too easy reading programs. They need level of difficulty to ‘match’ their ability based on their interests.

Learning experiences for gifted learners should encompass experiences that are meaningful and relevant to the student. (T. Johnson) All teachers involved in advanced reading programs should be well informed on best practices in gifted education and give serious consideration to all stakeholders’ concerns regarding the program including students. Student demographics including cultural diversity and generational characteristics must be incorporated into curriculum decisions.

Factors that should be considered in designing reading instruction for gifted learners are grounded in gifted programming standards. Gifted readers will not benefit from simple differentiation of existing reading programs. A wide spectrum of abilities exists in any regular education classroom. They will need a unique approach appropriate to their individual strengths. Reading programs may benefit from being included with cross-curriculum gifted options that are meant to increase depth and complexity, heighten anticipation and stimulate interest. (Reis/Renzulli)

What instructional strategies can be used to develop and enhance advanced reading skills?  Reading books or readers commonly used in the classroom should be supplemented with literature or completely eliminated for advanced readers. Discussion groups can be formed that take a closer look – a deeper dive – into books and novels being used as part of the reading curriculum employing discussion guides and Socratic questioning. Teachers can introduce the study of literature at an early age (provided they how a strong background in literature) by teaching elements of literature and discussing how to analyze what is read.

When setting goals for an advanced reading program, every single student should be expected to become a skilled, passionate, habitual and critical reader. (B. Seney) When considering reading comprehension as a goal of an advanced reading program, the only delivery system to attain the best results is actually reading. Reading motivation should be an integral part of any advanced reading program and can include providing an extensive class library, in-class reading time, respecting student choice of reading materials, and suggested literature. A transcript may be found at Wakelet.

On a personal note … this week, marked the 9th year for #gtchat on Twitter!


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 2PM NZST/Noon 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.

 Lisa Conrad 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:



Reading and the Gifted: Developing a Program of Reading With a Global Perspective

Reading Instruction with Gifted and Talented Readers: A Series of Unfortunate Events or a Sequence of Auspicious Results? (pdf)

Reading Instruction for Talented Readers: Case Studies Documenting Few Opportunities for Continuous Progress (pdf)

Research-Based Practices for Talented Readers (pdf)

The Neglected Readers: Differentiating Instruction for Academically Gifted and Talented Learners (pdf)

Literacy Strategies for Gifted Learners (pdf)

Engaging Gifted Boys in New Literacies (pdf)

Gifted Readers: What do we know and what should we be doing (pdf)

Literacy Strategies to Challenge Advanced Readers (pdf)

Fostering Critical Thinking Skills: Strategies for Use with Intermediate Gifted Readers (pdf)

Meeting the Educational Needs of Young Gifted Readers in the Regular Classroom (pdf)

The Gifted, Reading, and the Importance of a Differentiated Reading Program (pdf)

Language Arts Needs of Gifted Learners

Guiding the Gifted Reader

You Get to Choose! Motivating Students to Read through Differentiated Instruction (pdf)

A Pentagonal Pyramid Model for Differentiation in Literacy Instruction across the Disciplines

Selecting Instructional Strategies for Gifted Learners

Individual Instruction Plan Menu for the Gifted Child (pdf)


Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Posted on January 30, 2019, in gifted and talented. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: