All posts by Megan Thompson

Website for Parents

SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) is a nonprofit network of people who guide gifted, talented, and twice-exceptional individuals to reach their goals intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

THe SENG website is loaded with resources to help parents and educators guide gifted children. By joining SENG, members can register for online SENGinars, join a parent support group, and have access to the SENG library.

Book Recommendations

Gifted Kids Survival Guide: 10 and Under

An updated, informative book examines the problems of gifted and talented students and explains how they can make the best use of their educational opportunities, get along better with parents and friends, and better understand themselves. 

Gifted Kids Survival Guide: Teen Handbook

Written with help from hundreds of gifted teenagers, this handbook is the ultimate guide to surviving and thriving in a world that doesn’t always value, support, or understand high ability. Full of surprising facts, step-by-step strategies, practical how-tos, and inspiring quotations, featuring insightful essays contributed by gifted teens and adults, the book gives readers the tools they need to understand giftedness, accept it as an asset, and use it to make the most of who they are. Teens learn the facts about giftedness, including:

  • what “giftedness” means (and doesn’t mean)
  • the truth about IQ, tests, and testing (and four reasons why tests can’t be trusted)

About the Author

Award-winning author and publisher Judy Galbraith, M.A., has a master’s degree in guidance and counseling of the gifted. A former classroom teacher, she has worked with and taught gifted children and teens, their parents, and their teachers for many years. In 1983 she started Free Spirit Publishing, which specializes in Self-Help for Kids® and Self-Help for Teens® books and other learning resources. Judy is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Gifted Teen Survival GuideWhen Gifted Kids Don’t Have All The AnswersWhat Kids Need to Succeed, and What Teens Need to Succeed. She has appeared on Oprah and has been featured in Family Circle and Family Life, as well as numerous other magazines, newspapers, and broadcast and electronic media. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota

NAGC Parent Resources

As you get to know your sensitive, energetic toddler, watch your 10 year struggle to fit in at school, or agonize with your high schooler about multiple college choices, you may wonder why your child seems different from other children. Is your child gifted?  If yes, what next? NAGC works to provide you the tools you need to help your child succeed.
Advice from William Schlitz, father of Haley Taylor Schlitz, on raising a gifted child.


SEL Mini Spark #2 – Guided Meditation

Do you sometimes feel stressed from juggling school, friends, family, and extracurricular activities? If so, don’t worry! You’re not alone. We’ve got you covered! Sal from Khan Academy has recorded a few short meditations to help you relax.

You may be wondering—what is meditation? Why should I do it? Meditation, a simple practice of mindfulness, can help you reduce stress and improve your focus.

1 – Practice by listening to “Guided Meditation for Students” with Sal.

2 – Set some reminders to meditate on your iPad. Maybe begin with a few times a week and eventually find a time each and every day to practice meditation. 

3 – Check back here every so often for a new guided meditation with Sal.

Source: KhanAcademy

SEL Mini Spark #1 – Developing a Growth Mindset

1 – Watch this video on Growth Mindset.

This is a story of two seeds – both planted on the same day, in the same soil, in the same garden bed. One has a growth mindset—with a curious desire to grow and reach the outside world—while the other has a fixed mindset—filled with fear and choosing the remain stagnant in its soil.

This video explores the characteristics of a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. It busts the myth of perfection and teaches you to appreciate mistakes and failures. The video explains that fear is a natural universal emotion, how challenges help you grow, and provides tips on how to switch on their growth mindset.

Source: ClickView for Schools

2 – Think of a time that you were challenged and frustrated. What did you do to get through the situation? Write at least a paragraph (on iPad or paper) about this personal experience and what you learned from it. At the end of your paragraph, write some tips for developing a growth mindset.

3 – Keep your story for a reminder when you face your next challenge. If you would like to share your story, email your document or a photo of your written work to your EY Coordinator. 

L. Arts Mini Spark #49 – Descriptive Writing

The primary purpose of descriptive writing is to describe a person, place or thing in such a way that a picture is formed in the reader’s mind. Capturing an event through descriptive writing involves paying close attention to the details by using all of your five senses.

Watch this TedEd Video.

In the video, the narrator describes the characteristics of descriptive writing and gives several examples. To review . .

1. Good descriptive writing includes many vivid sensory details that paint a picture and appeals to all of the reader’s senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste when appropriate. Descriptive writing may also paint pictures of the feelings the person, place or thing invokes in the writer.

2. Good descriptive writing often makes use of figurative language such as analogies, similes and metaphors to help paint the picture in the reader’s mind.

3. Good descriptive writing uses precise language. General adjectives, nouns, and passive verbs do not have a place in good descriptive writing. Use specific adjectives and nouns and strong action verbs to give life to the picture you are painting in the reader’s mind.

4. Good descriptive writing is organized. Some ways to organize descriptive writing include: chronological (time), spatial (location), and order of importance. When describing a person, you might begin with a physical description, followed by how that person thinks, feels and acts.

Give it a try! For the following sentences, rewrite it using rich descriptive languages. Keep the five senses in mind. You can use the following and rewrite each OR use one as a prompt and write a descriptive paragraph or story story.

  • Sight – The girls went to the city park.
  • Sound/Hearing – We went to the stadium to watch our favorite team.
  • Smell – The waitress brought our food to the table.
  • Taste – My grandma made us cookies.
  • Touch – I walked to school this morning not knowing they had called a snow day.

L. Arts Mini-Spark #48: Literary Device (Flashbacks)

When it comes to writing, you always want to be learning more. Why? Because the more you know, the better your writing will be. There’s are many literary devices writers can use (watch for future posts), but do not try to use every single literary device in a single piece. For this mini-spark, we will focus on Flashbacks.

Flashbacks in literature are when the narrator goes back in time for a specific scene or chapter in order to give more context for the story. Oftentimes, we see flashbacks in books where the past greatly impacts the present or as a way to start a story off on an interesting note.

Watch this clip for Ratatouille where food critic, Anton Ego flashes back to his childhood.

Think about what Anton Ego experienced while having a flashback. Have you ever tasted or smelled something and experienced a flashback. Tell us about it in the comments!

L. Arts Mini-Spark #47: Blackout Poetry

blackout poem is when a poet takes a marker (usually black marker/Sharpie) to already established text–like in a newspaper–and starts redacting words until a poem is formed. The key thing with a blackout poem is that the text AND redacted text form a sort of visual poem. When only the chosen words are visible, a brand new story is created!

Blackout poems can be created using the pages of old books or even articles cut from yesterday’s newspaper. Using the pages of an existing text, blackout poets isolate then piece together single words or short phrases from these texts to create lyrical masterpieces. Blackout poems, as I’m sure you can imagine, run the gamut from absurd to sublime because all of the words are already there on the page, but the randomness is all part of the fun!  We truly believe a poem lives within the words and lines of any page, and encourage you to uncover it.

Creating a blackout poem involves steps that are all about deconstruction then reconstruction. 

Step 1: Scan (or cut out) the page or article first before reading it completely. Keep an eye out for an anchor word as you scan. An anchor word is one word on the page that stands out to you because it is packed and loaded with meaning and significance.  Starting with an anchor word is important because it helps you to imagine possible themes and topics for your poem.

Step 2: Now read the page of text in its entirety. Use a pencil to lightly circle any words that connect to the anchor word and resonate with you. Resonant words might be expressive or evocative, but for whatever reason, these are the words on the page that stick with you. Avoid circling more than three words in a row.

Step 3: List all of the circled words on a separate piece of paper. List the words in the order that they appear on the page of text from top to bottom, left to right. The words you use for the final poem will remain in this order so it doesn’t confuse the reader.

Step 4: Select words, without changing their order on the list, and piece them together to create the lines of a poem. You can eliminate parts of words, especially any endings, if it helps to keep the meaning of the poem clear. Try different possibilities for your poem before selecting the lines for your final poem. If you are stuck during this step, return back to the original page of text. The right word you are searching for could be there waiting for you.

Step 5: Return to the page of text and circle only the words you selected for the final poem.  Remember to also erase the circles around any words you will not be using.

Step 6: Add an illustration or design to the page of text that connects to your poem. Be very careful not to draw over the circled words you selected for your final poem!