Literacy Strategies: Creative Reading

To grow intellectually, gifted students need challenging books. They need fiction with complex plots and carefully developed characters, and informational books that explore topics in depth. They should read books and periodicals that spark their imaginations, broaden their horizons, and cause them to wonder and question. – Thomas Gunning (1992)

Creative reading focuses more on gifted readers’ responses to text, not the reading of said text. The text, regardless if it is literary or informational, acts as the source for a reader’s imaginative and original thought production. This creative thought is produced through writing, performance, invention, or other divergent response.

Creative reading is considered the highest, yet the most neglected, form of reading (Witty, 1985). This is as true now as it was in the 1980s. With a staunch emphasis on standards-based curriculum, teachers allow themselves to feel constrained by the standards and offer very few options for how students can respond to text. The needs of the gifted reader demand more than proficiency and mastery because often they have already met expectations put forth in the standards.

Both teachers and students need to understand what creative reading is and how to facilitate it and expect it. Today’s free teacher tool is the Creative Reading Checklist used to identify and monitor creative reading behaviors. Help readers learn what creative reading is and recognize creative responses to text using this checklist.

Click to download the PDF or right-click to save image.

Find out more about creative reading goals for gifted readers in ‘Literacy Strategies for Gifted and Accelerated Readers’ 

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