The most basic topic of study can instantly be an avenue for higher level learning by using a simple tool introduced by Dr. Sandra Kaplan…Depth and Complexity. Perhaps a student is studying pyramids or architecture in a unit of study. If he is ready for enrichment, he could explore UNANSWERED QUESTIONS about the pyramids, or PATTERNS/TRENDS in architecture in a certain region. Incorporating any of the icons found on the chart below is a way to ensure that students are making connections and thinking/learning on a higher level:
Here’s a good “rule of thumb”: If they can Google the answer in 10 minutes or less, then the question most likely is less challenging. Critical thinking, higher level learning, requires students to investigate on a deeper level and to make conclusions based on the learning. That being said, there is no harm in teaching students the basics of any topic. We need basic information, facts, before we can use them. At times, however, students should be presented with opportunities to use facts and other information through a higher level study using D & C, and often a highly gifted child will be more motivated to do so when presented with an option such as this.
Elements of this same strategy can be used for all learners of all levels.