How Analogies Challenge and Benefit the Gifted Learner

Lisa Lombardi

Have you ever heard the expression, “one good analogy is worth three hours of discussion?” Successful people not only understand this but practice it on a regular basis. According to an MIT  article, analogies can help people make sense of technological change and other innovations. Whether in life or in the workplace, people rely on analogies to comprehend change and find similarities in the unfamiliar. While the adult and working world may seem far away for most adolescents, learning analogies and mastering them now can provide life-long benefits for years to come. How does practicing analogies benefit adolescents and advanced learners? 

Improves Vocabulary Skills

When children practice analogies, it builds their interest and readiness for more rigorous and complex readings. Teaching them that words can have multiple meanings prepares them for better results on future standardized tests. According to TeacherVision, analogies can be used to introduce new vocabulary or compare situations or characters in literature.

Speeds Up Reading Comprehension 

Research shows connecting what children already know to new concepts and ideas sharpens their focus and deepens their understanding. Through analogies, children practice making connections while recognizing recently acquired vocabulary in literature which improves their reading comprehension.

Addresses Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)

According to Reading Rockets, as students grow older, they are challenged to do more and more with the information they have learned and stored in their brains. This strategy requires higher-order thinking skills (HOTS). Practicing analogies engages adolescents to think about the words they’ve learned and how they are connected. According to TeacherVision, analogies have proven to be effective learning tools for reinforcing thinking skills and conceptual understanding.

Develops Verbal Reasoning Abilities

Analogies require students to develop useful learning strategies that help them understand the relationship between words and how they fit together. Research shows using analogies in the classroom helps students understand a lesson more easily as teachers form connections between the new topic and what has already been taught.

When it comes to differentiating classroom curriculum for advanced learners, practicing analogies is a powerful tool that not only challenges them but encourages them to think creatively. We created the  vocabulary-based competition, WordMasters Challenge™, to focus grade 3-8 students on completing analogies. It can be used in advanced learners’ classrooms because it encourages students to utilize their greatest strengths. It teaches creative and critical thinking skills and presents a challenge that advanced learners enjoy. This interactive competition can enhance the standards for students and prepare them for future academic achievement. Since writing analogies isn’t always easy, WordMasters Challenge™ is a solution for teachers and parents who are looking to challenge their students and children. 

Lisa Lombardi is the President of WordMasters Challenge™.

The views expressed herein represent the opinions of the author and not necessarily the National Association for Gifted Children.