Saturday, December 19, 2020

Teaching Creativity

It is something contested by scientists-can creativity be taught or is it just something we are born with. I believe the former and I will tell you why. Teaching in early childhood, often students enter our classrooms not knowing what it means to be creative. They try to answer questions with what they think the adults want to hear. From day 1 (my first vocabulary words for them are creative and unique)--creativity is something I encourage.

When we do activities they are open -ended. I'm not a cut-out-all-the-pieces-and-the-kids-glue-it-together kind of teacher. I give them the materials and their products come from their vision. Skies don't have to be blue and grass doesn't have to be green in my class.

Another thing I do is an activity where I give students a task. Often I give them letters of the alphabet, split them up into groups and ask them to come up with: animals that begin with the letter s or foods that begin with specific letters. The goal of this activity is that they only get a point if their group came up with an idea no one else thought of. The most creative. So the automatic animal that begins with s for 1st Graders is of course, snake. But the lesson is to dig a little bit deeper. This applies to their work as well. You don't have to write the first thing that pops into your head-try to think of something no one has thought of.

We are in a unique situation this year. I looped with my students from Kinder to 1st. So I have had the opportunity to see them grow in this area. Yesterday we did an activity where I gave them a word and they had to say what came next. So for example: hot __________________. Now we just did a unit with the hot chocolate theme so I knew some would say that but some dug a little deeper. Then a student said Hot Cheetos and we talked about how hot can also mean spicy. How we can think about the different things words can mean.




I was a proud teacher yesterday hearing all the creative responses. At one point every student said something different for an answer. I truly believe creativity can be taught if we take the time to encourage it in our classrooms.

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