A child’s educational journey should be about more than just learning English and maths skills. So many schools will do activities and trips designed to expand children’s crafts and experiences — this is known as enrichment.
Enrichment in school is what pupils do to look at subjects more in-depth or from different perspectives. For example, teachers can encourage pupils to further research a topic by reading books or exploring the internet.
Enrichment is something that all pupils should be able to benefit from and helps to make subjects more meaningful, memorable, and rewarding. This is because enrichment activities allow children to explore issues in greater depth and use their imagination in ways they may not be able to do in traditional lessons.
A successful enrichment program will prepare children with life skills they will need in everyday life when they are older, soft skills like time management and teamwork that employers and universities respect, and the chance to discover more about their passions and interests.
What is Reading Enrichment?
As general enrichment allows children to explore, research, and discover new things, so does reading enrichment. Reading enrichment will enable children to read widely for pleasure, challenging themselves and learning what they like to read. Reading enriches a child’s experience with reading and helps to improve key language skills simultaneously.
Some schools may foster reading enrichment into the reading curriculum, encouraging children to read a wide range of classic literature, poetry, informational texts, and more.
Focusing on reading enrichment allows keen readers to flourish. It also helps struggling readers widen their library and grow more confident with reading.
What are examples of enrichment activities for reading enrichment?
There are many ways to incorporate reading enrichment into the classroom or at home. Here’s how:
- Allow freedom of choice
Since enrichment depends upon children taking the reins and exploring what they’re interested in, it only makes sense that they should choose what they read. Then, of course, you can guide them by offering a select range of books to read, but the child should make the final decision.
- Set goals
When should they aim to finish reading the book? What do they expect to learn from the book? Pupils could even create a work based on what they’ve read. Setting goals like this stretches and challenges your pupils.
- Analyze the text
Particularly for voracious readers, simply reading the text can seem too easy — and that’s not the point of enrichment! Instead, for keen readers, reading enrichment should encourage taking a closer look at the text. Look at the book’s key themes and what the author is trying to say. How has the author written it? What writing techniques have they used?
- Read in pairs or groups
Some children struggle to stay engaged when reading independently. While this skill should be worked on, reading in pairs and groups during extra activities can help children stay focused. For example, they could take turns reading aloud or each take on the role of a particular character. This is a fun way to bring the story to life.
- Make it fun
Enrichment should be enjoyable.
Enrichment Projects for Gifted Students
You can use several activities to engage gifted students in the classroom and at home. Here are some examples of enrichment projects for talented students that you can incorporate into your enrichment program:
Debating is a great activity for engaging gifted students, as it allows them to be active in their learning. There are also tons of transferable skills that kids can learn through debating. For instance, kids will learn to conduct thorough research and construct a valid reason to support their argument. Debating also helps kids build confidence in terms of public speaking. When doing debating activities in class, it is good to have a big debate that kids can work towards. This gives them a clear goal and time frame to complete their debate preparation.
Another fantastic benefit of debating is that it teaches kids teamwork skills. By separating children into groups, each of which must debate a different viewpoint, they are forced to work together to construct a strong, cohesive argument.
- Critical Thinking Activities
Particularly gifted students will benefit greatly from activities encouraging critical thinking. These activities can include anything that requires kids to engage in problem-solving. For example, Maths games can be great essential activities for review. One of the most valuable skills that students will learn through completing critical thinking activities is perseverance. These activities teach kids to stick with a problem until they’ve figured it out instead of giving up when it gets tough.
- Learning a Second Language
One of the best enrichment projects for gifted students is learning a second language. This is because it requires students to think in a non-linear way and have a great deal of patience and focus. Any language will do, whether French, Spanish, or Latin. Learning a second language has endless benefits for standard and gifted students, both culturally and developmentally. Overall, there is no reason not to incorporate learning another language into your teaching!
- Exploratory Activities
Exploratory activities are arguably the most beneficial enrichment projects for gifted students. They can be anything that involves children gaining a better understanding of how the world around them works. The open environment of exploratory activities gives kids a break from the classroom structure and encourages them to interact with the world. A fun example of an experimental activity is a school trip to a local park or forest, where kids can learn about nature.
- Book Club
Reading benefits all students and can be particularly intellectually stimulating for gifted ones. Setting up a book club is a great way to get kids interested in reading and exploring different books they would otherwise avoid. Having a book club also encourages students to reflect on the books they are reading and share their thoughts.
- Research Projects
Research projects are great for helping students develop critical thinking and communication skills that will be very beneficial in later life. Students will also learn to carry out thorough, independent research, a transferable skill. Children tend to work harder on projects they are genuinely interested in, so it is useful to have them pick their research topic. Then, you can be sure they will give it 100% effort and focus.
- Friendly Competition
While competition should not be at the center of children’s learning, some friendly academic matches can benefit gifted students. Very capable students tend to get bored in the classroom if they feel unchallenged. This is why some competition amongst students of similar abilities is great for keeping motivation high.