Teaching an Artistic Child (The Creative Child)

Teaching a Creative Student
The image of the creative student which led to Dr. Kingore’s work.

I have a student and a child of my own who are artistic. They doodle. They draw. They daydream and create fun scenarios in their heads to each question I asked. Despite this internal interaction, it was difficult to get an interaction between the student and myself. I knew I need some more information and turned to the internet. I was deeply discouraged when Google continuously changed my ‘artistic’ student to ‘autistic’ student. My research and quest were frustrated quickly. I was agitated and gave up when Google refused to meet my demands!

I spent quite a bit of time reflecting on my issues and attempting to find a solution for my creative students. How does a teacher help a student to learn using their strengths? One day while teaching a class, one of my students, a visual learner, asked if there were a picture to represent what we were discussing. I flipped open Google and search for images. Only then did it occur to me to look for information about teaching creative children by searching for images.

I, gratefully, found the works of Dr. Bergie Kingore, PhD. through an image. She worked on comparing the gifted learner, high achieving learner and the creative learner. I have attached her table of comparison below.

This simple table has made all the difference for me in how I approach my home-schooled, creative son as well as my creative students. Teaching has not necessarily become easier, but my understanding and patience has increased exponentially which makes me a better teacher in all situations.

A High Achiever…

A Gifted Learner…
A Creative Thinker…

Remembers the answers.

Poses unforeseen questions.
Sees exceptions.

Is interested.

Is curious.

Is attentive.

Is selectively mentally engaged.
Daydreams; may seem off task.

Generates advanced ideas.

Generates complex, abstract ideas.
Overflows with ideas, many of which will never be developed.

Works hard to achieve.

Knows without working hard.
Plays with ideas and concepts.

Answer the questions in detail.

Ponders with depth and multiple perspectives.
Injects new possibilities.

Performs at the top of the group.

Is beyond the group.
Is in own group.

Responds with interest and opinions.

Exhibits feelings and opinions from multiple perspectives.
Shares bizarre, sometimes conflicting opinions.

Learns with ease.

Already knows.
Questions: What if…

Needs 6 to 8 repetitions to master.

Needs 1 to 3 repetitions to master.
Questions the need for mastery.

Comprehends at a high level.

Comprehends in-depth, complex ideas.
Overflows with ideas–many of which will never be developed.

Enjoys the company of age peers.

Prefers the company of intellectual peers.
Prefers the company of creative peers but often works alone.

Understands complex, abstract humor.

Creates complex, abstract humor.
Relishes wild, off-the-wall humor.

Grasps the meaning.

Infers and connects concepts.
Makes mental leaps: Aha!

Completes assignments on time.

Initiates projects and extensions of assignments.
Initiates more projects that will ever be completed.

Is receptive.

Is intense.
Is independent and unconventional.

Is accurate and complete.

Is original and continually developing.
Is original and continually developing.

Enjoys school often.

Enjoys self-directed learning.
Enjoys creating.

Absorbs information.

Manipulates information.

Is a technician with expertise in a field.

Is an expert who abstracts beyond the field.
Is an inventor and idea generator.

Memorizes well.

Guesses and infers well.
Creates and brainstorms well.

Is highly alert and observant.

Anticipates and relates observations.
Is intuitive.

Is pleased with own learning.

Is self-critical.
Is never finished with possibilities.

Gets A’s.

May not be motivated by grades.
May not be motivated by grades.

Is able.

Is intellectual.
Is idiosyncratic.


Kingore, B. (2004). High Achiever, Gifted Learner, Creative Thinker. Retrieved from http://www.bertiekingore.com/high-gt-create.htm 


Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the mid-west with her husband. She loved storytelling and sharing her stories with her children. As they grew, she started writing her stories down for them. She is a teacher, having taught from elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, masters in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. Her husband, Kerry and Tracy breed miniature dachshunds and love to spend time with their growing family. She has published several books including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel's 8 and Securing Your Tent.

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