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.
About the author: Lisa 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: email@example.com
Photos courtesy of Jo Freitag and Natasha Bertrand.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
Last week, Jen Merrill, author of If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back? was our special guest. She is a longtime friend of #gtchat and it was particularly gratifying to chat with her. Jen’s book, published by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, is a humorous look at life with a twice-exceptional child. As many parents can attest to, you have to laugh or you would cry, and cry and cry.
During the chat, Jen revealed that The Incredibles is one of her favorite movies because “It’s a GT family succeeding BECAUSE of their OEs [over-excitabilities], not despite them. They came out of hiding to use those gifts to help society. And society came to appreciate those gifts, even though they themselves didn’t have or understand them.”
After years of trying to work within the public school system, Jen eventually decided to homeschool her older son which has worked out well for her family.
Mona Chicks of Seattle summed up the joys of raising a 2ekid with this, “Lord, give me patience, because if you give me strength I’m gonna need bail money to go with it.”
A full transcript of the chat can be found at http://txgifted.org/gtchat-transcripts .
Links from the chat:
Jen’s book at Amazon in print and for the Kindle ~ http://goo.gl/UMLKt
Jen’s book for the Nook ~ http://goo.gl/Adn4B
Jen’s blog, Laughing at Chaos ~ http://goo.gl/OT22t
More books from GHF Press ~ http://goo.gl/bfIjP
Jo Freitag has discussion notes on ‘The Incredibles’ ~ http://goo.gl/W57It
Articles on #Gifted & #2ekids from @GiftedHF ~ http://goo.gl/pw7qp