Sweet solutions for gifted kids

17:00, Jun 21 2012
Gifted Weeks
STICKY STUFF: Gifted Kids programme members Christopher Dirks and Rhian Kelley-Hulse create a village out of lollies.

What could be better than spending a school day making a model village out of lollies?

That is exactly the challenge Rhian Kelly-Hulse, 10, and Christopher Dirks, 9, took on for Gifted Awareness Week.

Gifted Kids held its first ever talent challenge week to coincide with the awareness week which kicked off on Monday.

Students at Gifted Kids programmes around the country had to come up with a challenge to plan and carry out.

Gifted Kids provides extension work for children whose ability is well above average, either academically or culturally.

Other projects being undertaken at the Tamaki Intermediate site included making models of ancient Rome and the Mexican step pyramids, interviewing a famous gifted person, painting a peace mural and designing large surrealist and Pasifika art works.


Coming up with the idea for a lolly village was a combined effort, Christopher says.

"I was going to make some sort of model and Rhian wanted to do something with cooking so we put our ideas together," he says.

The plan was to include a gingerbread church, a cemetery, a gummy bear forest, a beach, apartments and a mansion but aspects of the plan had to change as the students hit problems.

Rhian tried to create a gummy bear forest using licorice logs as tree trunks but could not get them to stand up. Her quick thinking led to the creation of a gummy bear zoo instead.

Teacher Diana Hayman says that is exactly what the exercise is all about.

"The main thing is that these guys are creative and they are challenging themselves," she says. "It's about who they are and what's going to be a challenge for them."

The students used a broken-up sponge cake for sand; jelly for the water; icing for grass, roads and glue; pineapple lumps and licorice for fences; and gingerbread to make the church.

Rhian says one of the challenges was the gingerbread church. She baked the pieces at home and brought them to class to assemble.

"The hardest part for me was when I was putting up the gingerbread house because I usually make it with my mum. It's the first time I've been the one knowing what to do."

Christopher says for him the hardest part was working out the order to do things in.

The talent challenge week is aimed at raising awareness of Gifted Kids as well as fundraising for the organisation. Gifted Kids is not funded through the Ministry of Education but is privately funded through a charitable trust.

Fundraising pages have been set up for each class taking part in the challenge.

Go to everydayhero.co.nz and search for Gifted Kids to donate.

East And Bays Courier