Thursday, June 5, 2014

How To Teach Creativity

Yes, you read that correctly. I do believe many children have innate creativity inside them, however, they have to be taught how to use it.  Where do you start? 

The first week of school many of my read-alouds show kiddos what it means to be "creative". Here are some that I use:

What else can you use to create? That's a question this character answers.

A really poetic story about a little girl with a big imagination.

This has become my go-to book that I give to friends who are new parents. A great message about being creative and being yourself.

I know everyone probably knows about this book by now!

A wordless story about what happens when kids find some magic chalk-very creative story!

Then you have ideas like divergent art. This can be done in several different ways. You can give the kids a shape or squiggle and ask them to turn it into something. The first few times they do this, you will get very similar answers. If you give them an "s" squiggle, for example, the first time you will get a whole bunch of snakes. Go over it with them afterwards-there is no wrong answer, however, what else could you have come up with that would have different? If you model for them some things they could have done or show them pics where a student did something different, they will start to understand the goal is to come up with something creative and begin to understand what that means. 

The key here is not to give up! I will never forget the time we went outside and picked up leaves and I asked them to glue that leaf to the paper and use it in their design. I got 20 pictures where the leaf was made into....a leaf. It's something you have to encourage consistently throughout the year.

Use different kinds of materials:

Snack self-portraits

Self-portraits made after a nature walk.

The most important thing is to give them many opportunities to just create! I love when they do an activity and all the products are different. I love seeing what new things they can come up. If we limit them to cutting and pasting or using certain colors in certain ways, they won't learn how to be creative. If you give them opportunities to apply that innate creative thinking that many children have-I think you will surprised at what they can come up with! :)

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