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Independent Literacy Projects for Gifted and High Ability Students
by Rae Harris and Elizabeth Duncan
Explorations in Science is designed to help teachers in 3rd though 6th grade classrooms differentiate instruction for students who quickly master grade level material. It makes literacy-based independent activities easily available to use in the mixed-ability classroom and includes supplementary materials that support the implementation of the projects in the classroom.
With a strong emphasis on reading and writing, each two-page Exploration provides students with the opportunity to dig deeply into an interesting extension topic tied to national standards. Thoughtful, rigorous “Important Questions” direct the study and are incorporated into the project. Each Exploration guides the student through the research process and project completion. The book is divided into three sections- Earth Science Explorations, Life Science Explorations, and Physical Science Explorations. See the Table of Contents in the sample pages for more specific topics. Reproducible pages are provided for student use. They include Directions, Expectations, a Work Log, a Research Log, and an Evaluation Rubric to guide the student.
About the Authors:
Rae Harris and Elizabeth Duncan are veteran teachers and curriculum specialists who have worked with gifted children throughout their careers in Denver Public Schools. They first developed these kinds of projects for use in their own schools. Aware of the challenges classroom teachers face in differentiating for their most able students, they wanted to make them available for wider use.