Gifted Identification: Visual and Performing Arts

The Ohio Department of Education requires that each school district identify students in both academics and the arts on an annual basis.

The Identification of Children Who Are Gifted in the Visual Arts: Implementation Handbook for Educators provides arts specialists and gifted coordinators with procedures for identifying students who are gifted in art. 


Related Ohio Law and Rule State law requires school districts to identify gifted students in grades K-12 in the visual and performing arts. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3324.01(B) states: “Gifted” means students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment and who are identified under division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of section 3324.03 of the Revised Code.

Screening and Identification Procedures in the Visual Arts

Screening and Identification Process Overview

The screening and identification process for identifying students gifted in the visual arts includes the following components: 1. Nomination of the student for screening/assessment (except when every student in a given grade will be screened) 2. Evaluation of the student using an approved behavioral checklist (see page 11) 3. An evaluation of the student’s Display of Work portfolio using an approved scoring rubric (see pages 12-17).


Nomination Component

Typically, a nomination triggers the screening and identification process. A student may nominate him or herself, or be nominated by an educator, parent, or peer. School districts are strongly encouraged to make special efforts to solicit nominations of students from populations that are underrepresented among students identified as gifted. Please note that a nomination is required to start the process only if the school district is not conducting “whole grade” screening efforts in which all students in a given grade will be screened. Because the outcome of all screening and identification evaluations must be reported to parents and because student interest and ability in art varies widely, most school districts will choose to follow a nomination-based screening process rather than conducting whole grade screening. After a student is nominated, permission should be obtained from the student’s parents to screen the student before beginning the behavioral checklist and Display of Work portfolio evaluation. If a student is nominated by his or her parent, permission for the school district to screen/assess the student in this area is implied. If a parent signs the nomination form, a separate permission form is not required.



These are the visual and performing arts areas in which you might nominate a student to be screened for possible gifted identification along with applicable behaviors or attributes observed in the student nominated.  Nominators also write additional observations that may be relevant on the back of the nomination form or attach additional pages.


Elaborates on other people’s ideas and uses them as a jumping off point as opposed to copying from others

Shows unique selection of art media for individual activity or classroom projects

Has unusual and richly imaginative ideas Composes with unusual detail and skill

Displays compulsive artistic pursuit


Matches pitches accurately Is able to duplicate complex rhythms correctly

Demonstrates unusual ability on an instrument including voice

Has a high degree of aural memory/musical memory Displays compulsive musical pursuit


Readily shifts into the role of characters, animals or objects 

Communicates feelings by means of facial expression, gestures and bodily movements

Uses voice expressively to convey or enhance meaning

Easily tells a story or gives a vivid account of some experience

Regularly seeks performance opportunities


Demonstrates exceptional physical balance

Performs sequences of movement easily and well

Communicates meaning and feeling with movement

Uses his/her body as an instrument of expression

Volunteers to participate in movement activities and dances


Click on the corresponding item below to see the specific handbook for each Visual and Performing Arts identification areas as provided by the Ohio Department of Education.

Visual Art





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