Increasing Depth and Complexity in Curriculum for the Gifted

I have always been a big fan of Sandra Kaplan at the University of Southern California. She has created wonderful techniques for increasing depth and complexity of curriculum—attributes that are at the core of gifted education.

Kaplan’s chart, Facilitating the Understanding of DEPTH and COMPLEXITY , presents teachers with easy-to-follow prompts, key questions, thinking skills, and resources that provide ideas for differentiating curriculum. These ideas can be applied to many subjects including language arts, science, social studies, and math. The prompts and key questions are very helpful when developing universal themes. A few examples include:

Key Questions
Thinking Skills
What are the reoccurring events?
What elements, events, ideas, are repeated over time?
What was the order of events?
How can we predict what will come next?
·Determine relevant vs. irrelevant
·Make analogies
·Discriminate between same and different
Other chronological lists
What dilemmas or controversies are involved in this area/topic/study/discipline?
What elements can be identified that reflect bias, prejudice, and discrimination?
·Judge with criteria
·Determine bias
Over Time
How are the ideas related between the past, present, and future?
How are these ideas related within or during a particular time period?
How has time affected the information?
How and why do things change or remain the same?
Historical documents

View the entire chart at the link above and use it as a guide when developing curriculum for the gifted or when differentiating lessons in the regular classroom.

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