“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!”

Linda Silverman~Gifted Development Center Denver

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Breaking the creativity block...First Nations Menu for Gifted Students

Well, I think I may have broken my slump.  I have been so overwhelmed lately with everything in my life that I feel like all creative juices have flown down the drain.  I have not made anything new and interesting in ages, and I haven't even wanted to write a blog post.  

In Ontario, the social studies curriculum has changed, but there are few if any resources available to implement the new expectations.  In our school, we have chosen to begin FULL implementation of the new expectations once we receive more direction from our board and additional resources become available.  As a grade team, after looking at the changes in the document, we also decided that students in the current grade 6 classes should still have an opportunity to study First Nations People and European Explorers (this topic has been moved to grade 5 in the new curriculum) as we agreed that students will need to have the skills and knowledge of this topic in order to be successful as they go forward in grade 7 and 8 history.

I have blogged before about Laurie Westphal and her choice menus for instruction.  I briefly using a TIC, TAC, TOE choice board with my class as they have just finished one for Patterning and Algebra in mathematics.   The one I created in the past available in my TpT store free here.  I decided that I really wanted to do something different so I have used Laurie's 2, 5, 8 menu structure to create a First Nations Choice Menu.  I think I will use her Explorers choice board from Differentating Instruction with Menus: Social Studies (Grades 6-8) in the new year to round out the unit.  

I really like how the choice menu turned out. It will be used as a culminating task for my classroom after we have engaged in some lessons and research which will include direct lessons, watching appropriate videos with note taking (I teach students to use the Cornell notetaking structure) and reading books about the subject matter.  When creating the menu, I tried to incorporate some of the expectations from the new curriculum document:
  • Maps and Globes: Analysing flow and thematic maps (A2.3) 
  • Constructing thematic maps on paper and digitally (A2 .3) 
  • A. 1. assess contributions to Canadian identity made by various groups and by various features of Canadian communities and regions 
  • A1.2 evaluate some of the contributions that various ethnic and/or religious groups have made to Canadian identity, 
  • A2.2 gather and organize information from a variety of primary and secondary sources using various technologies  
  • A3.3 identify various types of communities that have contributed to the development of Canada

When we have finished our investigations on First Nations we will look at European Explorers and then hopefully have time to do some comparison of the two groups.  One of the new curriculum expectations is :
  • A2.1 formulate questions to guide investigations into different perspectives on the historical and/or contemporary experience of two or more distinct communities in Canada.

I am hoping the students and I can work together to create something to address this expectation so that they will have had the experience of gaining the knowledge from the old expectations and the skills from the new document.

First Nations Choice Menu from teachingisagift.blogspot.ca
I am happy to share this menu with you.
Click on the image above to download a copy for
your own classroom and personal use.
Freebie Fridays


  1. Your menu looks great! My students always got so excited about the menu options that I couldn't help but be excited by the content too! :)

  2. Your menu looks great! My students always got so excited about the menu options that I couldn't help but be excited by the content too! :)

  3. Thanks for this resource. Going to send the info to my 6th grade team!