Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bibliotherapy with gifted students

Bibliotherapy with gifted students

What is bibliotherapy?
Bibliotherapy is the process of having a student read a book to learn about social/emotional issues or developmental needs by identifying with a character from the book. The student reflects on the struggles or problems the character is having and can learn from the characters needs or conflicts. Readers are presented with ways to cope and can better understand themselves through reading. They can learn that there are others who have the same feelings, concerns or problems and that they are not alone. They can connect with the character and gain personal insight into themselves through reading about other gifted people. Students develop a more positive self image and can change attitudes, and values by reading about other gifted people. It promotes mental and emotional health. Adding this to a reading program adds depth to reading and challenges the reader to make complex analyses. They connect to the character and this allows a deeper understanding of the character.

Using Bibliotherapy in a classroom.
Students can choose books from a list. These books are to be read and the readers could be given a list of questions to think about while reading the book. After reading the students could have a group discussion based on the questions that they thought about while they were reading. It does not matter that the students read different books. The questions are the same for the students to share their thoughts and feelings on the topic of being gifted. The questions listed below are sample questions from the article by Tamara Fisher.
  • Who in the book did you identify with and why?
  • What situations, events, problems did you identify with and why?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the significant decisions that the gifted character made and why?
  • How did being gifted impact the characters life? Was the impact positive or negative?
  • In what ways was the character gifted?
  • How did you know he or she was gifted?
  • What do you think are the messages the author is trying to send with this book?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the authors message?
  • What was the problem or challenge in the book and how was it solved or overcome?
Books recommended to upper elementary age gifted students for bibliotherapy:

  1. Alvin Webster's Surefire Plan for Success and How it Failed by Sheila Greenwald
  2. Airborne by Kenneth Oppel
  3. Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
  4. Apollo 13 by James Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger
  5. Arilla Sun Down by Virginia Hamilton
  6. Artimis Fowl
  7. The Bat-Poet by Randall Jarrell
  8. Been Clever Forever by Bruce Stone
  9. Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White
  10. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Curtis
  11. Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Letham
  12. Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson
  13. Children of the Atom by Wilmar Shiras
  14. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  15. Deliver Us From Normal by Kate Klise
  16. Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris
  17. Einstein: A Life in Science by John Gribbin and Michael White
  18. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  19. Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis
  20. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald Sobol
  21. The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt by Patricia MacLachlan
  22. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
  23. Forever Changes by Brenden Halpin
  24. Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho by Jon Katz
  25. Gifted by Nikita Lalwani
  26. Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson
  27. Good Enough by Paula Yoo
  28. The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald
  29. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  30. Harry Potter books by J.K.Rowling
  31. A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey fro the Inner City to the Ivy League by Ron Suskind
  32. Ida B:... and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan
  33. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  34. Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors by Susan Casey
  35. The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs
  36. Leonardo's Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci (edited by Anna Suh)
  37. Letters From Rapunzel by Sara Lewis Holmes
  38. Libby on Wednesday by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  39. Maizon at Blue Hill by Jacqueline Woodson
  40. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  41. Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Lee
  42. More than a Test Score: Teens Talk About Being Gifted, Talented and Otherwise Extra-Ordinary by Robert Schultz and James Delisle
  43. Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nihm
  44. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stuart
  45. The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy by Diane Stanley
  46. My Thirteenth Winter by Samantha Abeel
  47. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  48. Pride of the Peacock by by Stephanie Tolan
  49. Prince Prigio by Andrew Lang
  50. Rocket Boys (also called October Sky) by Homar Hickam
  51. Saving Lilly by Peg Kehret
  52. The School for Cool by P.G. Kain
  53. Seeing Emily by Joyce Lee Wong
  54. Smart Talk: What Kids Sya About Growing Up Gifted by Robert Schultz
  55. The Snowflake Man: A Biography of William A. Bentley by Duncan Blanchard
  56. Some Day Angeline by Louis Sachar
  57. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  58. Sticks by Joan Bauer
  59. Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan
  60. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
  61. The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald
  62. The Teenager's Guide to School Outside the Box by Rebecca Greene
  63. The Triple Chocolate Brownie Genius by Deborah Sherman
  64. The 39 Clues series
  65. The View From Saturday by E.L. Konisburg
  66. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
  67. Walt Disney: An American Origional by Bob Thomas
  68. The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplanre by Russell Freedman

  69. More Sources for researching this topic:
    • Mary Frasier- A leader in the area of bibliotherapy for gifted students. It helps gifted students to better understand themselves. She has been instrumental in using bibliotherapy in the counseling of gifted children.
    • Hoagies List of Books Featuring Gifted Children
    • Gifted Kids, Gifted Characters and Great Books
    • Books for Gifted Children Featuring Gifted Children
    • GT World Reading Lists

    Clark, B. (2008). Growing Up Gifted (7th Edition). Columbus, OH: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

    Delisle, J. & Lewis, B. (2003). The Survival Guide for Teachers of Gifted Kids: How to Plan, Manage, and Evaluate Programs for Gifted Youth K-12. Minneaopolis MN: Free Spirit Publishing.

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