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Characteristics of Gifted Students

Although gifted children come in all shapes and sizes, they typically share many common characteristics. Though the vast majority of children will display some of the following attributes*, the gifted child tends to possess most, if not all of them.

Advanced Language: Displays an advanced vocabulary and an ability to use more complex language effectively in a variety of situations; naturally uses similes, metaphors, and analogies to express relationships.

Analytical Thinking: Ability to discern components of a whole; strives to determine relationships and patterns in procedures, experiences, ideas, and/or objects. The student may not be "organized", yet enjoys organizing and planning events and procedures.

Meaning Motivated: Shows curiosity and an inner drive for thorough, independent understanding; asks penetrating, intellectual questions and demonstrates an extensive memory.

Perspective: Displays an ability to understand and incorporate unexpected or unusual points of view through oral language, writing, manipulative and/or art.

A Sense of Humor:  Demonstrates an understanding of higher levels of humor and application of a finely developed sense of humor, either through the production of original jokes, riddles, puns, or other humorous effects or through understanding the subtle humor of others.

Sensitivity: Intensely sensitive to the needs of others, demonstrates a strong sense of justice and sets high standards for self and others.

Accelerated Learning: Demonstrates mastery and an ability to learn and understand material and concepts beyond the facts and knowledge typical and expected for that age group.

*Adapted from Kingore Observation Inventory by Bertie Kingore, 1993. Retrieved from the Liberty School District Gifted Parent Manual.

High Achiever vs. Gifted Learner

Many students who are screened for Challenge will not qualify for the gifted program. Many of these students who were referred are high achievers rather than gifted students. High achievers often possess some of the characteristics of a gifted child, and vice versa. The chart below summarizes the differences between gifted learners and high achievers.

GIfted chart