I recently read Raising a Gifted Child. I was impressed by what the author wrote about grammar.
Grammar is important – especially to gifted students. Are teachers cheating gifted students by ignoring grammar? My fear in teaching gifted students is that I simply have not had much training in dealing with gifted students. I do not think they should be neglected, and I believe their needs are not always met.
Grammar is included in the common core so I teach it of course, and before that, I taught grammar to high school students. What about my gifted students? As a teacher, I care about every student on the spectrum.
Sometimes people question why grammar has returned to the classroom. As I researched gifted students, I was unsurprised to see that the author of a gifted book spoke highly of grammar. Since grammar and language provides different valleys and layers of interest, I can understand that gifted children would enjoy the challenge.
I think a huge misconception concerning gifted students is that they will survive, they will be fine. Gifted students have special needs. Teaching grammar may be one way to reach them, especially if we use grammar across areas of an ELA classroom.
I read Raising a Gifted Child a few months ago. (It is a valuable book for all teachers and parents.) These paragraphs struck me, because I worry that students without grammar knowledge are unprepared writers:
Unfortunately, in many K-12 schools, grammar is not taught as it was a generation or two ago. In fact, many younger teachers are very uncomfortable broaching the subject, as it was not something that they were adequately taught when they were students. There are many basic grammar sites at universities that contain the information that was once considered standard fare in middle school. Because of the absence of this subject in schools, all students, including gifted students, often miss out on a key component of their education.
Those who don’t have a good grasp of grammar frequently use words incorrectly. We should not deprive intellectually able children of the opportunity to master the English language. Grammar is an essential tool for speaking and writing. (It also is very helpful when trying to attain high scores on college entrance exams.)
Raising a Gifted Child by Carol Fertig (2009, Prufrock Press).
I want to make grammar real, and I think teachers want to have an honest discussion about grammar. Grammar is important, and it may be especially so for the gifted community.