This lesson uses David McKee's picture book, Elmer, to explore social and emotional needs of gifted students. In Elmer, the main character (Elmer the elephant) struggles to fit in with the rest of his herd. Likewise, many gifted students struggle to fit in with their peers.
Possible key themes and concepts that can be explored with this lesson are:
• Gifted students can be embarrassed because they are not like the rest of their grade-level peers.
• Students with multipotentiality may have a difficult time finding an identity with which they can be satisfied.
• Gifted students may use humor to mask pain.
• Gifted students may use humor to entertain others. (Sometimes at inappropriate times!)
• Gifted children may be teased for being different or for not “fitting in.”
• Some gifted students may hide their abilities (underachieve) to fit in with their peer group.
• Gifted students want to be seen beyond their gifts and talents.
• Sometimes gifted student long for a “normal” life.
• Students who are not gifted also need opportunities to feel special.
This lesson includes
*a menu of introductory pre-reading activities
*quotes and passages from the book for discussion
*a menu of questions to ask during the reading that relate to social and emotional issues that gifted students face
*a menu of follow-up activities
*a Think-Tac-Toe (student version) with the same follow up activities for students to chose as a response.