One of the benchmarks the majority of school districts use to determine whether or not a child is gifted is their grades. Is the student good at math? Is s/he consistently on or above their reading level?
Unfortunately, this does not always works. I've seen too many students turned down for the GT program because they don't "fit" in those categories. And I've argued against it.
But I do agree that the gifted student is very creative. S/he loves to create things, be it in their writings, artwork, or in other ways.
Gifted students don't have to have large vocabularies. Very often, they're the quiet ones who tend to go off by themselves to read a book. They may have a larger vocabulary, but they don't tend to get into long discussions to prove it.
Gifted students aren't always your most vocal students, and they don't always question everything. Sometimes they silently make up elaborate stories to explain things they wonder about. If they do have questions, they may wait until the teacher is alone before approaching her to ask, rather than blurt out their question during class.
Gifted students don't always fit a "profile". As a teacher, use your gut and expertise to single out and encourage that child who otherwise may fall to the wayside because "guidelines" say differently. Your decision may change that child's educational, and later on professional, life. Don't forget, Albert Einstein flunked math in elementary school.
You can also find a few ways to utilize paper chains in social studies:
* Street - school - city - county - state - country: link them in geographical importance
* Names of family members - father, mother, self, siblings (can add grandparents, pets, etc. if they want.)
* Divide class into groups. Give each group a topic (ex: farm animals, pets, fruits, ice cream flavors, etc.) Have each team come up with as many answers as they can, writing one answer on each loop. (Of course, spelling doesn't count.) See whose chain is the longest.
I originally found this on Pinterest, but it got me to thinking. How many times have you walked into the teacher's workroom and found strips of paper left over by the cutting board? Why not take those strips and write an alphabetical letter at the top, so the children can practice writing the letter down the strip? Rather than cut and glue letters at the top, a Sharpie can do the job just as good. And it makes a super workshop activity to keep your hands busy.