Gifted students make connections rapidly and are always seeking patterns. At Stargate, we leverage “Theme” based units to link curriculum strands in ways that build on students’ interests and experiences, and tie together prior and new knowledge in meaningful ways.
Across all K-8 grades, Theme stresses problem-solving, critical thinking, curiosity and “big idea” concepts. In the upper grades, when instruction becomes increasingly departmentalized, we continue to provide students with opportunities to make connections between subjects, as well as opportunities to discover and explore each topic in depth. We help students uncover patterns, formalize ideas they learned in prior years, and apply knowledge to the outside world. Moreover, we seek to promote “learning that is worth knowing,” whether for its practicality or its intrinsic value.
Through Theme programs, every subject we study becomes richer. Learning is more relevant because students see relationships between areas of study. Similarly, competencies and skills acquired in one context are more readily transferred to other situations when content is integrated within a Theme structure. Because Theme offers an opportunity for flexibility in pacing and depth of learning, as well as in complexity and challenge, these units are ideal for gifted learners. As students become more involved in how and what they study, they become more enthusiastic participants in the learning process.