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SPED 6161 Counseling Project- Sanders

Bibliotherapy for Gifted Students

Tory Sanders

on 2 May 2013

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Transcript of SPED 6161 Counseling Project- Sanders Bibliotherapy for Perfectionists Bibliotherapy for Minority Students A Journey in Search of Identity Bibliotherapy Resources
for Gifted Learners Tory Sanders
SPED 6161 Spring 2013

Counseling Project Bibliotherapy can be defined as "the process of helping the reader learn about and cope with any social or emotional struggles or developmental needs by identifying with a character in a book who shares a similar struggle or need" (Fisher, 2009, para. 1). One of the most important aspects of bibliotherapy is the way in which the student interacts with the book (Schlichter, 1994). This is done with the help of an educator who carefully chooses the books and the questions to elicit an emotional response from the student. Schlichter (1994) makes sure to state that “its focus is not on checking the reader's comprehension of the story but on helping individuals recognize, sort out, and evaluate their feeling responses to the literature” (para. 4). Bibliotherapy
Resources General Questions for Bibliotherapy * Who in the book do you identify with and why?
* What situations/events/problems do you identify with and why?
* Do you agree or disagree with the significant decisions the main character(s) made? Why?
* How did being gifted impact the character's life? (in positive and/or negative ways)
* In what ways was the character gifted? How did you know he or she was gifted? (i.e. What, to you, were the identifiable characteristics?)
* What do you think are the messages the author is trying to send with this book? (Or: What do you think was the author's purpose for writing this book?)
* Do you agree or disagree with the author's message? Why? Educators play an instrumental role in helping gifted students learn about what it means to be gifted and cope with the difficulties associated with being gifted. For this reason, it is important for teachers to have a variety of resources to address the emotional needs of gifted students. Bibliotherapy can serve as a preventative measure for counseling gifted students (Moon, 2002).
“The emotions are the heart and soul of giftedness” (Roeper, 2012, para. 1). Gifted children face “unique stresses and dynamic issues” related to being gifted (Robinson, Shore, & Enersen, 2007, p. 15). Gifted students want to be able to identify with others who are “like” themselves, but may have difficulty “finding true peers” (Robinson et al., 2007, p. 16). Bibliotherapy can be a useful tool to help gifted students understand that they are not alone, because they can identify and connect with a character from a book. Definition of Bibliotherapy YouTube Video
about Bibliotherapy Books for Boys Books for Girls General Reference Resources for Parents The Need for Bibliotherapy for Gifted Learners Fisher (2009) advocates the use of bibliotherapy:

By having gifted students read literature and/or biographies featuring gifted children or adults, the students can gain insights into their own giftedness. Through bibliotherapeutic reading, the gifted kids are presented with ideas for how to cope with some of the struggles they encounter because they are gifted. These struggles can include trouble finding meaningful friendships, existential depression, dealing with high expectations (whether internal or external), and being a unique learner when most around them don’t learn as they do. (para. 2) Many specific groups of gifted students could benefit from using bibliotherapy as a form of counseling. The two specific groups highlighted in this presentation are students who are perfectionists and minority students. Each group has its own unique qualities and needs that can be addressed through the use of books. The following YouTube video states the need for the use of bibliography for gifted students (lpmbc387; 2010, May15). The author sheds light on the feelings associated with being gifted. Book suggestions are also offered that can be used for bibliotherapy purposes. Appendix A contains the questions adapted in the form of a printable bookmark (Sanders, 2013a). The bookmark can also be laminated for future use. Students can write their answers on a piece of notebook paper for counseling purposes. Fisher (2009) developed the following questions to use with a book appropriate for the student’s need (para. 12). Making connections is an important aspect of bibliotherapy. Appendix B offers another bookmark students can use to make a text-to-self connection with a character (Sanders, 2013b). Students can use the information from a particular book to think critically about themselves.

This bookmark can also be used with the interactive Venn diagram creator from the International Reading Association/NCTE (2013) so students can compare and contrast themselves with the book character ( General Books about Being Gifted The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide: For Ages 10 & Under (Galbraith, 2009)-This book is written specifically for students in the elementary grades. It serves as a resource guide to help gifted students understand and deal with what it means to be gifted. The following website from Free Spirit Publishing (2013) offers documents that can be downloaded for use with several themes in the book.

Other Resources: The Gifted Kid’s Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook (Galbraith & Delisle, 1996); The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids: How to Understand, Live With, and Stick Up for Your Gifted Child (Walker, 2002) Many gifted students are natural perfectionists. Perfectionism can manifest in both positive and negative ways for gifted students. When perfectionism is channeled in a positive way, it can become a catalyst for high achievement. Perfectionism that is not controlled can be an obstacle for gifted students trying to work up to their potential. (Schuler, 2002). “Due to their heightened sensitivity, awareness, and abilities, gifted children require affective counseling in order to learn coping skills to help them break the cycle of disabling perfectionism” (Nugent, 2000, p. 215). Bibliotherapy is an effective form of counseling for gifted children who are perfectionists (Nugent, 2000). Adelson (2007) classified the unhealthy manifestations of perfectionism into 5 categories. The study of these categories would be a great way for students who struggle with perfectionism to take a critical look at a book character’s behavior and an introspective look at their own behavior. Appendix C contains a bibliotherapy resource that can be used to help gifted perfectionists. It contains a chart that lists the perfectionistic categories and definitions created by Adelson (2007), along with questions that allow gifted students to create connections between a book character and themselves (Sanders, 2013c). This resource can be used in the gifted classroom so that a plan of action for change can begin.

•What to Do When Good Enough Isn't Good Enough: The Real Deal on Perfectionism: A Guide for Kids (Greenspon, 2007)

•Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good? (Adderholdt & Goldberg, 1999) •Letting Go of Perfect: Overcoming Perfectionism in Kids (Adelson & Wilson, 2009) General Reference Resources for Kids •Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days (Manes, 1982)- What would you do if you found a book that claimed it could make you a perfect person in just three days? Students will be taken on a funny journey as the main character, Milo, tries to follow the instructions listed to become a more perfect person and make his life easier! This book is a good resource for grades 3-5. The following website from the University of Missouri (2012) offers links to activities and emotional support for gifted perfectionists. •Other Books: Alvin Webster's Surefire Plan for Success and How It Failed (Greenwald, 1987); Sticks (Bauer, 1996); Perfect Game (Bowen, 2013) •Nobody’s Perfect: A Story for Children About Perfectionism (Burns & Villnave, 2008)•The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes (Pett & Rubinstein, 2011)•Too Perfect (Ludwig, 2009)•Perfectly Prima (Goldberg, 2010)
•Bud, Not Buddy (Curtis, 1999)- The story centers around a 10 year-old African American boy in search of his father after his mother dies. The story is set during 1936 during the time of the Great Depression. This book is a good resource for grades 3-5. The following website from the University of Missouri (2008) offers links to activities and discussion ideas for the book.

•Other Books: The Planet of Junior Brown (Hamilton, 1971); Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (Carson & Murphey, 1990) Books for Minority Boys Minority students are often underrepresented in gifted programs (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011). Davis et al. (2011) also discuss the need for special programs to help gifted minority students succeed. The use of bibliotherapy for minority students is important because “multicultural literature offers minority children opportunities to see themselves in the materials they read” (Ford, Tyson, Howard, & Harris, 2000, p. 237, para. 12). Ford (2002) also discusses the benefit of using multicultural materials for all gifted students in order to promote cultural awareness, establish sympathy and empathy for others, and learn how to understand the viewpoints of others. Ford adds that “the central question for school personnel is: How can we make sure that all students are prepared to live and learn in a culturally diverse society?” (Ford, 2002, p. 161).
•Akeelah and the Bee (Ellison, 2006)

•Amazing Grace (Hoffman, 1991)

•Perfectly Prima (Goldberg, 2010)- includes several books in the series Books for Minority Girls Images Courtesy of : The following list of websites is for the use of bibliotherapy with gifted students. They provide resources for teachers to use such as questioning strategies and book lists. Bibliotherapy (McIntyre, n.d.) Using Bibliotherapy with Gifted Children (Fisher, 2009) Bibliotherapy with Gifted Students (Luth, 2009) The Process of Bibliotherapy Mulbry (2012) discusses the need for bibliography as a means of helping gifted students with their social-emotional issues. She describes the process of using bibliotherapy as a way for students to develop awareness of their feelings and emotions. Her presentation highlights this progression, general questions stems are offered, sample books are suggested and specific questions are given for several books (Mulbry, 2012). References
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