Ferris ISD Elementary Gifted and Talented Program

Gifted and Talented Program Information:

Our Program:

GT students will meet with the GT Specialist one day a week. All homeroom teachers of gifted students are trained and certified to provide differentiated instruction in all core subjects. GT students will have the opportunity to individually explore topics that interest them with the used of PBL, STEAM projects, coding, and individual research investigations.


The State of Texas and Ferris ISD define a “gifted and talented student” as:

A child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area, possesses an unusual capacity for leadership, or excels in a specific academic field.

Texas Education Code 29.121; Ferris ISD Board Policy EHBB (Legal)


The Ferris Independent School District is committed to providing the best possible educational experience for each child. The district recognizes that gifted and talented students are found in all cultures, socioeconomic groups, and environments. Ferris ISD further recognizes that gifted and talented students require an enriched curriculum that reinforces and extends the regular academic program.

Ferris ISD ementary GT services will serve the needs of those students who demonstrate above average achievement or potential in general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, and creative/ artistic/productive thinking as identified through multiple, specific criteria.

Gifted and talented students do not ordinarily excel to their potential without educational support. These students need the experience of working with and relating to both their chronological age group and their intellectual peer group. They need continued challenges and stimulation, association with others of similar ability, and a differentiated educational program designed to foster motivation, personal adjustment, achievement, and success.

GT Showcase

Students taught the community about robotics and art and showcased their projects.

GT Spotlight!

SHOUT OUT to Liam for inventing and building a “Chloe- Distractionator” during invention week. He invented the toy to give his cat a toy to play with while he watches movies. The invention includes a switch and a drill to make the toy spin.

GT Spotlight

SHOUT OUT to Courtnie for always producing quality work. Courtnie is very creative and a great leader. She inspires her peers to think deeper. Courtnie was challenged to make a homemade costume. She designed her costume and used things around her house to make her sketch a reality!

4th Grade Passion Projects

Passion Project Challenge

Students were asked to list all of the things they are passionate about. After that, they were asked to list things that bothered them in the world. Using a bracket system, they narrowed down their passions and things that bothered them to one final thing. They were then challenged to use their passion/strengths to help the thing that bothered them. These students have worked very hard on their projects and even learned how to create websites. Please consider donating to one of their causes. Donations can be turned into the office at Longino Elementary or can be given to Mrs. Orr.

Community Food Pantry

It bothered Cournie that so many people were going hungry since COVID hit. She decided to make a community food pantry to put in front of Lee Longino Elementary. Parents can take food home when they pick up student packets. She is asking for donations to stock the pantry.

Donate to the Animal Shelter

Meghan is very passionate about animals. She grew up with them all her life and wants to help them as much as she can. She chose to collect toys, food, and blankets to donate to the Ferris Animal Shelter.

Feeding the Hungry in Ferris

Giselle and Kaylin love art. They decided to trade canned goods for paintings. Each painting was hand-painted by Giselle! Donate canned goods now and take home one of her signed paintings!!

Kids For Kindness

Scarlet, Sofia, and Alex wanted to help stop bullying. They created posters and information pamphlets to share at their campus. They even proposed the idea to the counselor to get her on board to help! They are using their voices to become kid ambassadors against bullying. They plan to make shirts and masks next week.

Save the Wolves

Jordyn has done extensive research about wolves. She is very passionate about helping save their habitat. Check out her wonderful website to learn about the importance of wolves in our ecosystem and how you can donate to her cause!


Allyson likes to do arts and crafts. She is passionate about helping save the habitat that Koalas need to survive. She made bookmarks to give to anyone who donates to the Koala Foundation. Print or take a picture of your confirmation page to turn in, and then you can pick out a bookmark!

Artist Projects

After studying historic paintings, sculptures and photos, students researched a famous painter of their choice and re-created the painting.

Fruit Man


Earnest Stuckleburg


Diego Vasquez


The Girl Holding the Puppy


Salvador Dali Self Portrait

~Liam P.

Johannes Vermeer (1665) The Girl with the Pearl Earring


Vincent Van Gogh Self Portrait

~Liam H.

Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe


Unknown Artist


Rene Magritte Man in Bowler Hat


Vig’ee Le Brun (1790)


George Healy (1863) Abraham Lincoln


Vincent Van Gogh


Vincent Van Gogh


Winslow Homer The Whittling Boy


Invention Week

It was great to interview Mr. Walters, an Ellis County inventor. He invented surgical lights and examination lights that deliver pure white light that enhances deep saturated reds and colors, minimizes shadows and uses 34% less heat, saving energy.

Glass Swiper By Itself

You can push a button, and when your glasses are fogged, the hands will come out and wipe them off for you. The hands use a tissue to wipe it down. It will cost you $20 in the store.

~Alena 1st Grade

The Fantastic Dog Washer

This is cooler and easier than putting your dog in the bathtub. You will quickly fall in love with this product. This dog washer will cost you only $20.

~Scarlet 4th Grade

The Best Day Ever Hat

You can have the best days ever with this machine. When you put on the hat, you will imagine the best day ever! It comes with 20 batteries, and you can get the hat in any color you want.

Warning- Please do not make your best day last more than 24 hours. This product will cost you 1,000,000.

~Cadence 2nd Grade

First and Second Grade Work

Coding Week!

Students were able to pick a robot or game they wanted to learn to code.


We read the Cold Crystal Pond Story from the P.E.T.S. curriculum.

Students made brainfocals, and we discussed how we could improvise objects to change the outcomes of situations.

Deductive and Convergent Thinking

I introduced students to Dudley, the Detective who puts his clues together to arrive at the one correct answer to the problem. Students listened to a story to find all of the clues to solve the case.

My students love STEM challenges. They were given a limited supply of resources to complete their project. Challenge: Create a bow and arrow. The bow must accurately launch the arrow and hit a target.

The TRUE story of the Three Little Pigs!

Students read a story from the perspective of the Wolf. We talked about how there are multiple sides to every story. Perceptions without facts can change outcomes. They had to discuss if they thought the Wolf was still guilty of what the Pigs stated in the original story and then prove their case.

What's in a Name?

Students researched their names to learn the meaning. They were challenged to display their name in a creative way that told a story about them. Kaylin chose to show her name with all the things she loves.

k- Art

A- Her dog

Y- Her phone and a curling iron to curl her hair

L- Her Ukulele

I- Pokémon

N- Unicorns and working out

Traveling Pets

We read Pets by Michael Dunning. Sometimes, people need to take their pets places, trips, vets, or animal shows. Students brought a stuffed “pet” to school to design and create a container that would safely take their pets to visit all their classes. The container had to have a moving part, a handle, be comfortable inside, and have an opening to place animals inside and take them out safely.

Roll a Fairy Tale

Students talked about the components of fairy tale stories. They then were able to roll a dice to see which elements would be added to their new story. All of the girls wanted to roll a princess to add to their story! After they were done creating their new story, they posted their new story on Seesaw. I loved how their stories turned out.

STEM Challenge

Students read the book Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. After the book, they were challenged to design new wings for a bat to help the bat fly the farthest distance. After the first flight trial, they could go back to the design table and improve their ideas. At the end of the challenge, students discussed what surprised them about the designs and distance traveled? They sounded so mature discussing solutions with their partners.

Madlib a Story

Students listened to the story of the Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson. We talked about how one word in a story could change the whole meaning. Students learned how to create a Madlib. After they filled in their information on page one, they saw on page 2 how their story changed by replacing words.

Find Godilocks!!

Students read the book Goldilocks by James Marshal. We discussed all of the things wrong that Goldilocks did. Students created a wanted poster to get Goldilocks in custody to hold her accountable for her actions. I see some of these girls being good lawyers in the future!

    • AVID Strategy

Philisophical Chairs

    • Students were grouped based on their positions and discussed statements to back up their reasoning. I was so proud of them! They were very respectful and came up with very valid arguments.

What hat are you wearing?

Students learned about Six-Hat Thinking while discussing school uniforms. We read Cinderella, and students were given scenarios. They had to decide which hat Cinderella was wearing.

Which One Doesn't Belong?

Students analyzed patterns with real objects and try to guess how many of each item there are in the picture. A number talk discussion was then led by students of how they could count items quickly.

They then look at other pictures and explain which shape does not belong and why. After the discussion has ended students were instructed to create their own pictures to share with the class.

Six Hat Thinking

It is a thinking process created by Edward de Bono, designed to develop thinking, brainstorming, and decision-making skills. Using Six-Hat Thinking, students learn to figuratively put on one hat at a time to focus on one type of thinking at a time. Each colored hat represents a different type of thinking.

Students read the book Rapunzel and were asked, "How would the story change if Rapunzel had short hair?" I was amazed at the stories they created. The prince would have magic so he can build stairs to climb the tower. If he still could not get in, he would bring the Enchantress to the top of the tower and get 48 bears to knock down the tower to let Rapunzel out. He could also use a big trampoline to jump up there to save the princess. They would live happily ever after.

~Cydney 2nd Grade

Bird Beak Adaptations

Students read the book Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. We discussed the bird's beak and what things his beak could best be suited to eat. Students looked at pictures of birds and chose the ones they thought could eat seeds. After the discussion, students made a bird feeder to hang up at home. They said they were jealous of the birds because they got to eat all the peanut butter!

Mayflower STEM Activity

After discussing the history of the Mayflower and how it was designed, I challenged the students to:

  • Design and construct a version of the Mayflower that will hold as much cargo (gumdrops) as possible without sinking. Their ship had to float for 30 seconds without sinking.

  • I loved just listening to them plan and converse with their partners. I could see their brains in action!

Super Hero Designers

  • Students listed all the superheroes they could think of on the board. They taught me so many new ones I did not previously know! We discussed what attributes qualified them to be a superhero.

  • I challenged students to sketch and design a new superhero to market to a toy company in New York. They had to use adjectives to describe their character.

Design a marble maze to make someone happy.

“If you can design one thing, you can design everything.”

Massimo Vignelli

Catapillar Shoes

The students watched the video "Caterpillar Shoes." Students took off their shoes and put them in a circle. Students looked at the attributes of each of their shoes. They investigated all sides of the shoe, in and out, up and down, how they fasten, what they are made of, the colors and design. They were then able to sort the shoes into different categories based on their attributes.

Baby Donald's Day at the Beach

After the students were shown pictures of different items, they were prompted with the question: What if beaches were made of other things? What would they feel like, smell like, look like in certain temperatures? Would it make the beach more fun or less fun? What if instead of sand beaches were filled with.....

Students listed pros and cons and created their own examples of what it would be like to be made up of different items with the beach.


Students had to use the SCAMPER method to create a new penguin.

STEM Challenge

Students had to brainstorm their design ideas with their partners before they started building. These kids are only in second grade but based on some of the ideas they produced, you would never know it.

STEM Challenge #1

We read A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams. Rosa’s mother is tired when she comes home from work, and she needs to sit down and rest. Their challenge was to use only gumdrops and toothpicks to design and build a person who can independently sit on the edge of your desk without falling off.

STEM Challenge #2

Their next challenge was to use the materials given to them to design a chair with their person sitting to sit on their desk's edge without falling off independently.

Virtual Students

Memphis used his STEM bucket provided as a weight to hold his chair and person in place off the side of the table.


Students were able to interview Juan Cantu, founder and owner of Innovative Agrivision LLC. He explained to students how his company provides precision agriculture with Unmanned Air Vehicles or UAVs to trial map the land to get the best yield in crops. He uses up to 15 drones to map the area!

What pictures can you capture?

After a lesson on privacy and the pros and cons of drones, students flew real drones to take pictures and videos. We had so much fun, and the weather was beautiful.

PBL Project

After researching how drones are used in society today students were asked the question to discuss: You are the mayor of the city. A new company in the area wants to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (known as “drones”) for commercial purposes that will be useful to the citizens in the community. What issues need to be considered, and should the company be allowed to operate these flying drones in the city’s air space?

Challenge Accepted!!

I challenged students to use a new computer program, SketchUp, to design. SketchUp is a 3D modeling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, film and video game design. After they completed their design, they had to build their product out of recycled materials. I am so proud of the work they produced.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

Pumpkin Catapult

Students had to design a catapult that would launch a pumpkin candy the farthest distance using the materials provided. They had to convert feet to inches. The next challenge was to launch their pumpkin candy to try to hit the target. I was amazed to see all the parent support with this project for virtual students!

PBL Make Your Own Costume

Students had fun designing and making costumes to wear to Trunk or Treat. They also had to explain on Seesaw or in-class why they picked that costume and how they made it. Trunk or Treat was canceled due to weather, but the projects were worth seeing all the fun they had.

Law Week

Students studied the case “The Chair.”

They gathered Analysis from Multiple Perspectives and listened to all parts of the cases to see if the plaintiff is guilty or innocent and justify their reasoning based on the evidence. By the end of the class period, they now know why trials take so long and that sometimes it’s difficult for people to decide on a verdict.

We had fun during law week! Students were shown real court cases by Judge Orr, and they used an AVID Strategy Socratic Seminar to justify their decision of if the person was guilty or not guilty based on the facts of the case. After arguments were made by the defense and prosecution, students could switch sides.

Officer Hall joined us in class to give his perspective on the cases.

What's the Verdict book of real court cases and verdicts.

Rules of the game and the point system.

Computer Science

We discussed what jobs students could get if they knew how to code. Students were taught how to use JavaScript to code and program video games. They were able to work through a gaming system to write their own codes to program a video game.

Creepy and Spooky!

I loved seeing their projects. I challenged students to design a haunted house. They planned the props, sketched out the rooms, drew a blueprint, made an advertisement, came up with themes, and added up the cost of all the supplies they would need. They then had the choice of creating a commercial to persuade people to come to their haunted house or create a haunted house model to explain on Seesaw.

Virtual Student Natalie shows off her model.

Research and plan your haunted house.

Brady dressed up like a Ringleader and used the green screen to make his Haunted Circus commercial come to life.