Gifted and Talented

Artful Reading (AR) is a learning innovation by the Collaborative for Teaching and Learning (CTL). The preschool modules weave National Core Arts Standards and Early Childhood Standards, while K-8 modules weave National Core Arts Standards and national English Language Arts standards, to promote a standards-based, playful approach to literacy. 

An amalgamated research field called the science of learning has identified four key ingredients of successful learning: learning occurs best when children are mentally active, engaged, socially interactive, and building meaningful connections to their lives (Hirsh-Pasek et al. 2015). AR explicitly incorporates all four.  The impact of arts integration is far-reaching, with effects being linked to accelerated language and literacy development; improved mathematical reasoning and problem solving; gains in creative thinking abilities like elaboration and flexibility of thought; and healthier social and emotional responses. The arts motivate students to learn, provide a unique platform for demonstrating understanding, and allow children to make connections between content, their own experiences, and the world around them (Beshears-McNeely, 2018; Courey, Balogh, Siker & Paik, 2012; DeMoss & Morris, 2002; Gardner, 2003; Horowitz & Kleiman, 2002; Podlozny, 2000).  

According to The Kennedy Center (Saraniero, 2019) the arts are a vehicle for teaching exceptional students in the following ways:

  • The arts provide new and unique ways to access the curriculum. A gifted child may find learning through a particular art form suits their learning style. High-ability students may have little exposure to the arts, particularly if the focus has been on their academic achievement. The arts can provide novelty, which is an important component of differentiation for gifted students.
  • The arts can provide a challenge. For many academically gifted students, intellectual challenges are much needed and can be difficult for teachers to provide. The beauty of the arts is the complexity and depth they can add to the curriculum.
  • High-ability children often pursue their interests independently of others. Engaging them with the performing arts, which are typically collaborative, will provide an opportunity to build social and cooperation skills (Cornett, 2003).
  • Artistically gifted students are often unidentified. But, not surprisingly, some researchers have found links between academic and artistic giftedness. Gilbert Clark and Enid Zimmerman (1998) found such links and note high ability is unlikely to be limited to one domain. Arts integration and instruction can be useful tools to reveal these previously unrecognized high-ability artistic learners (Goldberg, 2006).

  • AR motivates students to learn by providing a unique platform to demonstrate knowledge. We know that “Play helps children make sense of their world and gives them an opportunity to learn how to get along, think, communicate, make decisions, delay gratification, solve problems, and build confidence” (Gillespie, 2016). Learning in AR is observed as a joyful experience as instruction is designed to align with children’s natural curiosities by providing them with context, autonomy through choices, guided explorations and multiple forms of expression through the arts (Haslip & Gullo, 2017).

    The modules provide explicit reading, writing, vocabulary, speaking and listening instruction using national literacy standards to create authentic literacy experiences. Additionally, modules provide explicit dance, music, drama, and visual arts instruction using the discipline’s standards and its vocabulary to create authentic artful learning experiences. 

    Work Cited

    New paths to learning. New Paths to Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2021, from