Student Seminars- Their Role in a Gifted Education

What are student seminars?

In short, they are meetings with gifted students to support the social and emotional needs of gifted students. They are a type of structured support group.

They can be run at a school site by a site counselor, psychologist, principal or a classroom teacher. Some groups meet at lunch time or before or after school.

As a GATE program specialist, I meet with students on a pull-out basis. I make arrangements with the school site administrator and I meet with a set group of GATE kids a few times a year. We meet for an hour in the morning. The principals make arrangements to loan me a room, so we have confidentiality and the kids can really talk.

Think about how you group students at your school site and consider how you might better be able to support their social and emotional needs.

Some seminar topics I have taught are:

Friendship: How do I make good friends? How can I be a good friend? How can I communicate better? How can I improve my relationship with  my teacher? My parents? My siblings? My friends? How can I be a better listener?

Intensity: How can I control my anger? What can I do when I feel like I am going to burst? How do I wait my turn? Can I do something to get hold of my sensitivity?

Perfectionism and Stress: Why do I procrastinate? Why am I often unhappy with my work? Why do I hate group projects? Dealing with feeling overwhelmed. How can I learn to chill out?

Traits of Gifted People: What a gift to understand oneself. To understand “Over-excitabilities” and Intensity. Why am I so intense? Why does my mind race? Why do I get my feelings hurt so easily? Over-excitablility in Gifted People

Here are some resources:

Book: The Essential Guide to Talking with Gifted Teens by Jean Sunde Peterson.

This book comes with a Cd-Rom of all student worksheets. It has lesson plans and discussion starters and guidelines for holding student  discussions.


I also really like Sean Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens




Although I have listed books with the words teen in them, these strategies and materials work really well with younger students.

Promoting Student Seminars – Cover

Underachieveing GATE 11.20.09

How can GATE programs address the social

Student Seminar Sample Topics Bibliography

Stress Management

My Needs. activity to share with family members

Perfectionism worksheet

I have many more resources listed under the resources tab on this site, under social and emotional needs.

Give this method a try. Our students need the emotional support and understanding as much as academic interventions and modifications.