The Bright Child vs The Gifted Learner

Can you be smart but not gifted? Absolutely. Giftedness is much more than intelligence alone. Take a look at this comparison to see some key differences:

The bright child…
*Knows the answers
*Is interested
*Is attentive
*Has good ideas
*Works hard
*Answers the questions
*Top group
*Listens with interest
*Learns with ease
*6-8 repetitions for mastery
*Understands ideas
*Enjoys peers
*Grasps the meaning
*Completes assignments
*Is receptive
*Copies accurately
*Enjoys school
*Absorbs information
*Good memorizer
*Prefers straightforward tasks
*Is alert
*Is pleased with own learning
The gifted learner…
*Asks the questions
*Is highly curious
*Is mentally and physically involved
*Has wild, silly ideas
*Plays around, yet tests well
*Discusses in detail; elaborates
*Beyond the group
*Shows strong feelings and opinions
*Already knows1-2 repetitions for mastery
*Constructs abstractions
*Prefers adults
*Draws inferences
*Initiates projects
*Is intense
*Creates new designs
*Enjoys learning
*Manipulates information
*Good guesser
*Thrives on complexity
*Is keenly observant
*Is highly self-critical

Common Characteristics of Gifted Children (that are not commonly known)

When most people hear the word gifted they think smart, good at school, successful. Of course a main component of being gifted is intelligence, but that’s just one slice of the pie. Below is a list of common characteristics of giftedness that aren’t commonly known; no one has all of them (thankfully) but there are usually groupings of like-characteristics (such as advanced vocabulary with reading at an early age, along with heightened curiosity).

How many do you/your child have?

  • Walked OR talked at an early age
  • Has an advanced vocabulary
  • Read at an early age
  • Demonstrates a great appetite for books and reading
  • Entertains self for large blocks of time
  • Has good recall
  • Consistently organizes, sorts, classifies, and groups things, and names them
  • Heightened curiosity (asks “Why” often)
  • Fantasizes often
  • Shows sensitivity to other people’s feelings and empathy in response to their troubles
  • Demonstrates leadership abilities
  • Exhibits perfectionism
  • Resists change
  • Likes to discuss abstract concepts (such as love, justice, etc.)
  • Has a high energy, need less sleep than age-mates
  • Learns new material rapidly
  • Often prefers to work or play alone
  • Loves puzzles, mazes, building blocks, and toys that challenge
  • Has an advanced sense of humor
  • Prefers the company of older children or adults
  • Is highly creative, imaginative
  • Is a keen observer
  • Expresses unusual sensitivity to what they see, hear, touch, smell, or feel
  • Expresses concern for the world’s problems