Free Downloads by Michael Clay Thompson

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 teachershomeschooling parents. These PDFs show how the program should be developed for your studentsyour child.

Download the Elementary Curriculum Guide

Download the Secondary Curriculum Guide

Developing Verbal Talent

Download 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.

See also Michael Clay Thompson’s Classics in the Classroom and The Word Within the Word.

Download Developing Verbal Talent, 695K, 8-page PDF

Some Elements of Poetry

Download 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.

Download Some Elements of Poetry, 81K, 3-page PDF

100 Classic Words

Download 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.

Download 100 Classic Words, 40K, 1-page PDF


Download Grammar

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.”

For more about grammar, see The Magic Lens series by Michael Clay Thompson for secondary students, and Building Language for elementary students.

Download Grammar, 138K, 12-page PDF

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.

Download An Introduction to the Gettysburg Address, 121K, 5-page PDF

Classic Words Bar Chart

Download 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.

Download Classic Words Bar Chart, 99K, 1-page PDF

Advanced Vocabulary for Gifted Secondary Students

Download 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.

Download Advanced Vocabulary for Gifted Secondary Students, 113K, 13-page PDF

About Research Papers

Download 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.

Download About Research Papers, 769K, 3-page PDF

Advanced Thinking in Research

Download 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.

Download Advanced Thinking in Research, 72K, 2-page PDF

Three Pages in One Glance

Download 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.

Download Three Pages in One Glance, 40K, 1-page PDF

Poetry or Prose: A False Dichotomy

Download 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.

Download Poetry or Prose: A False Dichotomy, 84K, 11-page PDF

Taking Notes without Note Cards or Bibliography Cards

Download 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.

Download Taking Notes without Note Cards or Bibliography Cards, 84K, 1-page PDF

Everyone Is Gifted

Download Everyone Is Gifted

This is Michael Clay Thompson’s speech to the Indiana Association for the Gifted’s 1998 Annual Conference.

Download Everyone Is Gifted, 59.9K, 9-page PDF

The Hunley

Download The Hunley

This is “The Hunley,” an article from Our Gifted Children magazine about a submarine in the 1800s.

Download The Hunley, 296.8K 5-page PDF

Classic Words in Gulliver's Travels

This is a list of 472 classic words found in Gulliver’s Travels and compiled by Michael.

Download 472 Classic Words in Gulliver's Travels, 3 page pdf

Poems by MCT

Audio of Michael’s Long John Silver poem: Silver’s Song

You are viewing Home-based Switch to school-based