Grade Level

Gr. 4; Gr. 5; Gr. 6;

Document Type

Activities and Labs


Academically Gifted; Student Needs; State Standards; Difficulty Level; Creative Thinking; Critical Thinking; Language Arts; Mathematics Instruction; Science Instruction; Social Studies; Core Curriculum; Middle School Teachers; Preservice Teachers; Student Diversity; Teaching Methods; Lesson Plans; Vocabulary Development; Concept Formation;


Gifted learners need opportunities for critical and creative thinking to stretch their minds and imaginations. Strategies for increasing complexity in the four core areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies were addressed using the Common Core and Iowa Core Standards through several methods. Descriptive adjective object boxes were created, based on the themes of bees, surface area and volume, cultural beliefs and mummies, and bee colony collapse disorder. The sets of materials were used in various ways to increase the complexity of instruction in the core subject areas of literacy, mathematics, social studies, and science. The descriptive adjective boxes consisted of several small objects related to a theme with corresponding cards. This card set provided activities to increase the complexity of the topics. [This paper is based on the conference presentation, "Smartening up the Common Core: Increasing Complexity for Gifted Learners" that was presented at the Iowa Talented and Gifted (ITAG) Annual Conference: Reaching for the Future (Des Moines, Iowa, Oct 13-14 2014.)]


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


ERIC Number: ED556335

Original Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.



File Format