Characteristics of Gifted Children

Characteristic Positive Behavior Negative Behavior
Learns rapidly/ easily Memorizes and masters basic facts quickly Gets bored easily, resists drill, disturbs others, underachieves
Reads intensively Reads, uses library on own Neglects other responsibilities
Perfectionist Exceptional accomplishments Intolerant of mistakes
Retains quantity of information Ready recall and responses Resists repetitions, “know it all”
Long attention span Sticks with task of personal interest Resists class routine, dislikes interruptions
Imaginative, curious, many interests Asks questions, gets excited about ideas, takes risks Goes on tangents, no follow–through, disorganized
Works independently Creates and invents beyond assigned tasks Refuses to work with others
Alert, observant Recognizes problems Impolitely corrects adults
Good sense of humor Able to laugh at self Plays cruel jokes or tricks on others
Comprehends, recognizes relationships Able to solve problems alone Interferes in the affairs of others
Aesthetic Insight, awareness Appreciation of the arts Poses personal values/judgments on others
Highly verbal, extensive vocabulary Fluent with words, numbers, leads peers in positive ways Leads others into negative behaviors, monopolizes discussion
Individualistic, strongwilled Asserts self and ideas, has small circle of friends; sense of own uniqueness Stubborn in beliefs
Self-motivated, selfsufficient Requires minimum teacher direction or help Aggressive, challenges authority
Prefers older peers Wise beyond years Isolated or misunderstood
Highly sensitive, passionate Emphasizes fairness, and morality, compassionate Over-reacts to situations
Views with a different perspective Observes across boundaries, makes connections Resists limitations and narrowly focused content

Bright Child                                                      Gifted Lerner

Knows the answers. Asks the questions.
Is interested. Is highly curious.
Is attentive. Is mentally and physically involved.
Has good ideas. Has wild, silly ideas.
Works hard Plays around, yet tests well.
Answers the questions. Discusses in detail, elaborates.
Top group. Beyond the group.
Listens with interest. Shows strong feelings and opinions.
Learns with ease. Already knows.
6-8 repetitions for mastery. 1-2 repetitions for mastery.
Understands ideas. Constructs abstractions.
Enjoys peers. Prefers adults.
Grasps the meaning. Draws inferences.
Completes assignments. Initiates projects.
Is receptive. Is intense.
Copies accurately. Creates a new design.
Enjoys school. Enjoys learning.
Absorbs information. Manipulates information.
Technician. Inventor.
Good memorizer. Good guesser.
Enjoys straight forward sequential presentation. Thrives on complexity.
Is alert. Is keenly observant.
Is pleased with own learning. Is highly self-critical.