Michael Clay Thompson: Free Downloads
Michael’s Long John Silver poem: Silver’s Song
- An Implementation Guide
- Developing Verbal Talent
- Some Elements of Poetry
- 100 Classic Words
- An Introduction to the Gettysburg Address
- Classic Words Bar Chart
- Advanced Vocabulary for Gifted Secondary Students
- About Research Papers
- Advanced Thinking in Research
- Three Pages in One Glance
- Poetry or Prose: A False Dichotomy
- Taking Notes without Note Cards or Bibliography Cards
- Everyone Is Gifted
- The Hunley
- Classic Words in Gulliver's Travels
An Implementation Guide
When should you introduce grammar? What about writing? Michael Clay Thompson offers an overview of when and how to introduce the various elements of the curriculum, with valuable advice for teachers and homeschooling parents. These PDFs show how the program should be developed for your students or your child.
Download Implementing the MCT Curriculum – Elementary Tier – 4MB, 57-page PDF
Developing Verbal Talent
Classics are gifted books by gifted writers and are right for gifted kids. This handout contains a list of classic words and answers the question: Why is grammar fun and valuable? It also offers key points and recommendations. The handout was from Michael’s presentation “Gifted Children Need Classic Literature” for the National Association for Gifted Children in 2006.
Some Elements of Poetry
Just as a composer consciously places each note of a symphony on a musical staff, a poet consciously controls each separate vowel and consonant sound, organizing them within the structure of rhythm.
The technique that everyone immediately associates with poetry—rhyme—is probably the one that is least used in modern poetry. Instead, most modern poets use far subtler and less obvious techniques to create—and conceal—their art. Many of them are explained in this handout.
Learn more about poetics in the Poetic Series by Michael Clay Thompson.
100 Classic Words
What words do students really need to know if they are to read comfortably in the classics of English and American literature? Michael’s ten-year study of 35,000 examples from 130 different works indicates that the following words appear with high frequency. They are the top 100 words in his Classic Words database, in descending order of frequency, and they appear even in so-called children’s classics, such as Tom Sawyer, Peter Pan, The Wind in the Willows, and The Call of the Wild.
Read more in Classic Words by Michael Clay Thompson.
The full title of this handout is “Grammar: A Magic Lens for Understanding Our Own Ideas.” Michael writes, “Grammar is so lovely that even if it were useless, one would irresistibly explore it, as one explores chess, or architecture, or the spiral geometries of shells. It is a sort of magic aesthetic lens through which we can view the delicate structures of ideas. As scientists marvel at the silicate skeletal frames that support and form living organisms, through grammar we view the delicate relationships that give form to the phenomena of the mind.”
An Introduction to the Gettysburg Address
Lincoln used only ten sentences to give one of the most powerful speeches in American history.
For the full text of Michael Clay Thompson’s study of the Gettysburg Address, see Lincoln’s Ten Sentences.
Classic Words Bar Chart
From Michael’s Classic Words database, this bar chart shows how twenty-seven books of classic literature vary in the richness of their vocabulary, noting that, unfortunately, the most frequently read in the classroom are the least challenging.
Advanced Vocabulary for Gifted Secondary Students
This download is a handout for Michael Clay Thompson’s vocabulary workshops. It shows how vocabulary can be taught by learning and using Latin and Greek stems. It is a sample chapter from his series for secondary students, The Word Within the Word.
About Research Papers
This extract from Michael Clay Thompson’s book Classics in the Classroom outlines the techniques and methods behind writing a good research paper.
Advanced Thinking in Research
In this handout, Michael details the four main types of research papers and covers creation, evaluation and reporting of ideas, and the creative thinking behind conveying those ideas.
Three Pages in One Glance
“When you first learn to write a research paper,” writes Michael, “a three-page typed paper can seem overwhelming, but it really is a very short paper…. A three-page research paper is about quality, not quantity.”
Poetry or Prose: A False Dichotomy
This is “The Overlap between Poetry and Prose,” an article written by Michael for the California Association for the Gifted, May 2007.
Taking Notes without Note Cards or Bibliography Cards
Even though students will not be turning in note cards or bibliography cards, they still have to write down the information during the research process.
Everyone Is Gifted
This is Michael Clay Thompson’s speech to the Indiana Association for the Gifted’s 1998 Annual Conference.
This is “The Hunley,” an article from Our Gifted Children magazine about a submarine in the 1800s.
Classic Words in Gulliver's Travels
This is a list of 472 classic words found in Gulliver’s Travels and compiled by Michael.