Michael Clay Thompson: Videos

  1. Cool Grammar
  2. Why Gifted Students Need to Be Taught Formal Writing
  3. Michael Clay Thompson’s Writing Program: Vocabulary
  4. Paragraphs and Essays: What Matters Is Structure
  5. Michael Clay Thompson’s Poetry Workshop
  6. The Connection between Vocabulary and Grammar

Those who have participated in a workshop or have attended a presentation by Michael Clay Thompson know that he is an inspiring and passionate speaker. Enjoy these videos, and share them with others to give them a flavor of Michael’s unique teaching philosophy and dedicated approach to imparting English language arts.


1. Cool Grammar

Michael Clay Thompson tells teachers why gifted students need to be taught grammar and classic words. Since grammar became unfashionable in school curricula, the school board has suddenly realized that students don’t know how to write…except in journals. It amounts to a great disservice to gifted children. This and the next three clips are short excerpts from the presentation Michael gave at the National Curriculum Network Conference at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, in March 2008.


2. Why Gifted Students Need to Be Taught Formal Writing

Formal language study has all but disappeared from schools. This is to the disadvantage of gifted students, who need to learn how to write correctly for their future studies and careers. Michael Clay Thompson explains what has happened and why he has concentrated on formal writing books in his language arts curriculum from Royal Fireworks Press.


3. Michael Clay Thompson’s Writing Program: Vocabulary

Michael Clay Thompson addresses what he sees as a “National Vocabulary Prevention Program.”


4. Paragraphs and Essays: What Matters Is Structure

Hear Michael Clay Thompson read the classic opening paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. He then explains away some of the myths about teaching students how to write.


5. Michael Clay Thompson’s Poetry Workshop

This clip is from a lively seminar held at the annual conference of the National Association for Gifted Children in Tampa, Florida, November 2008. Hear Michael recite Robert Burns, and see him getting his audience to vocalize the sounds of letters and words: a key method of Michael’s for teaching poetics.


6. The Connection between Vocabulary and Grammar

Michael Clay Thompson shows an audience of teachers of the gifted how a good vocabulary helps with grammar and, most importantly, with good writing.


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