I think using bibliotherapy with gifted students is important..The gifted students often have social and emotional issues and they ;may have a hard time talking about it with others. By identifying with a character(s) in a certain book, they may be able to better understand themselves. In addition, they may be able to gain a new strategy to help them cope. I believe it is important that teachers give students a check list to use as they are reading thru the book. I think if students have a checklist it will make reading the book more meaningful..If you just give students a book to read with no questions/things to look for, they may read right thru the book without knowing why they are reading the book.
Reply to Helen July 14... using bibliotherapy is important. I wonder if at high school, it might be helpful for students to read about an actual person who has faced social and/or emotional issues and yet has achieved in some field. When the GT student is close to going to college and trying to decide what path to follow, knowing about others who have achieved could be inspiring. The book talked about bibliotherapy only in the context of novels/fiction stories.
In response to Valerie HarelsonJuly 15, 2014 at 7:15 PM, Great idea of having students read about actual people who actually achieved success in a field..I am sure in science, I could find lots of scientists who had social and/or emotional issues that a student could relate to..I love this idea..Guess i need to start looking for some new books to add to my class library
Response to Helen Roberts and Valerie Harelson- yes, I agree that it is important for students to investigate the trials and tribulations of others in order to identify with those people. I also think that while such an assignment offers inspiration, it can also make subject matter relevant to a kid, GT or not, who otherwise might have poo-pooed the material at first.
In response to Valerie Harelson July 15, 2014 at 7:15 PMI love the idea of them reading about gifted kids with similar experiences. It would be great to find a book list. The bibliotherapy link on page 236 isn't working.
Catherine Roth:In response to Helen Roberts on 7/14: I agree-Bibliotherapy is critical to making school-life significant for extremely gifted kids who don’t fit into ‘regular’ school. When students can relate to the characters and story and can see themselves in the story they gain insight to who they are as readers and as people. I would use caution about giving students a ‘check-list’ to look for things as they read. We want to make the reading event as authentic as possible and ‘real readers’ don’t read with a check-list. They read because they are hooked into a book they can and want to read. That’s the key. Choice is also key-gifted students must have a choice about what to read-so we aren’t ‘giving’ them a book to read, they are choosing to read a text with our guidance and suggestion.
I think gifted kids would love bibliotherapy. I think it would help their emotional development to identify with a character in a book. The teacher would have to be very thoughtful about selecting the book, since a book may be very powerful for one kid, may not apply to another.
Catherine Roth:In response to Ms. M’s Kinders on 7/15: I’ve been thinking a lot about this strategy with young children-and I’m guessing you teach Kindergarten-Young kids are so into the ‘All About Me’ stage of life that it might be difficult to find the right book that would allow a young reader to identify with the character. I’m thinking that nonfiction might work better for gifted beginning readers. I can think of a kindergarten boy I had in class recently whose knowledge of anything scientific was immense and any box of books that held scientific knowledge kept him interested for long periods of time. That box of books would not have interested other students in his class, but he was enthralled. So, the knowledge of the teacher and ability of the teacher to place the right box of books in front of the right reader is extremely important. It allows the young gifted student to see that there are books that are written ‘just for him’ about the things he likes.
I teach seniors. I think it would be interesting to find biographies of people who have faced various adversities and yet have achieved in a particular field. Either I could compile a list of people who faced challenges; students could choose from the list. A name that comes to mind is Albert Einstein. Alternatively, students could research biographies and compile a list of people they find interesting. There are many others that students could find interesting and with whom the student might possibly identify.
In response to Valerie Harelson on July 15, I think it would be great if students were able to search for biographies that they find interesting and can relate to. This would definitely get them more motivated to find someone they identify with. I like your idea with giving them a list you compiled also, in order to give the students a starting point.
In response Valerie H on 7/15, I agree a list could be made, however, the teacher should read the books as well. I read about a very gifted female athlete and was sadly disappointed. If they are trusting us to suggest things, then we owe it to them to know it is appropriate.
In response to Valerie H on 7-15, this is a great idea! I too think a list would be important as well as reading the books.
Bibliotherapy helps gifted students find out that they are not alone. When they read about others with similar issues, emotions and abilities, they can identify with these characters. I think bibliotherapy is important to people of all abilities, especially adolescents.
In response to Elizabeth H on July 16th- I believe that Bibliotherapy helps gifted students and all students to understand and cope with reading and problem solving. All reading components need to be addressed.
Bibliotherapy is important for gifted students because it lets them know there are other students and adults that think and feel the way they do. It also helps them relate to the characters in a story and gives them ideas for how to handle situations in their own lives.
Finding people to relate with is an issue for all students, not just the gifted. Providing opportunities in the classroom for them to have discussions with one another is a way to help them feel like they aren't alone in their talents. Bringing in outside reading expands on that idea to show how many gifted people there are and the many ways that gifted talent can be manifested. Teachers participating in discussions of those books with the gifted students would be an even stronger method of reinforcement.
Agreed. Discussion of any book is key to establishing context, empathy for characters, and drawing the occasional piece of humor from a text. GT kids need to be able to bounce ideas off of a teacher and off of one-another. Again, discussion for me helps establish relevance of a text.
I think using Bibliotherapy for all students would be beneficial; however, I still face the same challenges with first grader who are still learning to read. As the year progresses, students could do this in guided reading. It may be something that I could initially adapt to use for read aloud, then discuss with my students in small group. I think all kids, GT or not, want to feel accepted and books are a beautiful vehicle to spur conversations and deeper thinking.
Bibliotherapy is important because so many plots revolve around the Human Condition, and how humans are not perfect yet continually strive to be that way. Using bibliotherapy can help capitalize on a GT student's acute ability to empathize, and offer further insight into the purpose of the author.
Bibliotherapy is important for gifted and all students. It helps build self esteem and meet challenges faced with reading. Students need to understand identification, catharsis and insight. The chart on page 120 could also be used to read a variety of categories without limiting the reader to continually pick one or two genre.
I love the idea of using the chart on page 120 to pick a variety of books. It is good for students to see that they can understand and identify with a characters and or situations with in many generas.
Bibliotherapy is an excellent way to stretch a GT student's self understanding. However, I think careful reading prior to handing the student the book is necessary. Also if you are suggesting with a certain intent, parents and time for discussion need to be planned. While I am a trained teacher, I am not a therapist. I am not always sure what can trigger a strong reaction. I support the idea if you have your ducks in a row.
I agree with skippyjohn jones on July 27, 2014. You never know what is going to trigger a strong reaction from a student or their parents. When dealing with primary children, sensitivity is a must.
Bibliotherapy is used a lot in my classroom. I read many of Patricia Palocco's books aloud to my class. They relate to her stories about how she had reading and writing difficulties in her life. They also relate to how she bullied, her older brother, etc...I also enjoy having the students share in their reader's response journals their feelings about different characters, issues, etc...
In response to ashepherd- Patricia Palocco's book are a wonderful example of bibliotherapy. I read a lot of her books in 4th and 5th grade also with a reader's response.
Bibliotherapy is a great way to get students invested in the book they are reading because they can connect with the characters and their lives. It could help students address issues they might be having through the character in the book. This can also help students become problem solvers in their own lives based on how the characters deal with their issues.
This is the first time I've heard of bibliotherapy but I see it happening all the time. Kids and people and general make connections to characters in books and in movies. We get inspired by stories and learn lesson too. I think this would be more so with our GT kids because they tend to be more sensitive and intuitive.
In response to Shauna on August 7-Bibliotherapy is a term that I wasn't familiar with either.I really think that many times your favorite book will be the one in which you have a connection with character.
Catherine Roth:Reading the section on Bibliotherapy reminded of me of the novel Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. I have recommended it to several teachers who have gifted kids in their classrooms and it would be a perfect book for bibliotherapy. Students will be able to identify with the main character-Willow Chance who is gifted and is in a ‘regular’ school and classroom. Our students will also be able to gain insight from the way Willow perseveres through a tough time and perhaps that experience can help our students do the same. It’s always important for readers to identify with the characters in a book-as well as the plausible plot. They need to see themselves and know that they too could be in this same situation. Those are the stories readers remember. Gifted students are different-not better or worse-just different. They must see themselves between the covers of the books they read-as we all should as well.
In response to Catherine Roth: Once again we are thinking the same. I loved the book, Counting by 7's! Even though not many of my gifted students would be like the main character, I think they would identify with the way she thinks and acts differently and be impacted by the fact that over time she is accepted as who she is. This is true bibliotherapy.
I think it is very important to use biblotherapy in the classroom with GT students so they can gain insight from characters experiences. They can have an opportunity to gain empathy for a character and identify with others. I read a lot of books in my class focusing on social skills. Students really seem to grasp the concept of friendliness, honesty, or perseverance when taught through a book verses a lecture.
In response to Valerie Harelson (7/15): I totally agree with Valerie. Upperclass, gifted students (all students for that matter), especially in psychology, would gravitate to the biographies of psychologists who have social, emotional, intellectual, cognitive and behavioral tendencies similar to themselves. This type of personal connection is the perfect way to hook learners!
Using bibliotherapy in the classroom is a great way for gifted students as well as the other students to make a connection with a character. Reading about characters who are like them will help them emphasize with others and build self esteem.
I think using bibliotherapy is a powerful way to help GT kids to realize they are not alone in the way they think and live. Many GT kids have a low self-esteem because they don’t seem to understand themselves or their environment. This guided reading strategy can help these student feel comfortable in their own skin and give them an outlet to ask questions and get feedback…I want to try this with my own child.
I agree with Debbie B (August 19) that guided reading might be an ideal time for bibliotherapy. In addition, I think read alouds lend themselves to the same types of self-esteem enhancing discussions.
I think it's important to use bibliotherapy with all students (not just gifted students). Some gifted students feel "old for their age" and find comfort in reading books with characters they can relate to. Connections are important to all readers and the connections made with texts can have a lasting positive impact on readers (especially GT students).
I think all students need to see pieces of themselves in others. For some of our GT population it can be more difficult to relate to other children. Having a character in a book that they can relate too could help keep them from feeling different and give them a sense of belonging.
In response to bozab, I totally agree. All students will benefit from reading and identifying with characters in books. It does help build understanding of one's self as well as empathy for others. For gifted students, I think such reading has greater impact due to their deeper understanding of the content.
Bibliotherapy can have a tremendous impact on readers. As teachers, we must not forget that part of this powerful strategy is the discussion.(p.136) This requires teachers to also read these books and create discussion strands that are meaningful. Without this part it is just reading a great book.