- Every child is naturally creative and the classroom should provide the space for students to express their creativity and work with enthusiasm.
- There are a list of activities on creativity – storyboard, genius hour, Socratic questions, brainstorming, etc. The teacher has shared a creative exercise used in her classroom as an example. Students have given various reasons for the tortoise winning the race.
- Playing with higher order questions helps in character building. For example, ‘Would you cheat on a test if you knew you will not be caught?’
Understanding creativity: Creativity is the freest form of expression. There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling for children than to be able to express themselves openly and without judgment. It is not only about doing different things, it is about doing things differently.
Are children naturally creative? Every child is born creative. They only look for suitable opportunities to express. Every child is gifted; they bring out their best at different times. They pay more attention to what the teacher is saying and concentrate on their activities better. As a result, it reduces the stress on the teachers.
Does it really make a difference in the classroom? Creative classrooms do not just look different, they feel different. They provide an environment where students are more likely to express their ideas, think outside the box, approach challenging problems with innovative solutions and most importantly – learn faster and more effectively.
Are we truly giving that time and space for them? We need to complete the syllabus, teach cursive writing, work on activity books and so on; then how do we make time for creative activities? It is good to plan activities that give opportunities for children to express their creativity and enjoy learning.
Activities to foster creativity in classroom:
I have shared a few creativity-based activities that can be used in class on a regular basis.
Torrence Task – A simple task in which you present an object such as a tin can and list all the different ways it can be used.
Virtual Reality – This is a great way to help students visualize environments and events that they would not be able to realistically access.
Brainstorming – This activity involves eliciting ideas from children to develop a story or finding a solution to a riddle.
Journaling – In this activity children jot down their daily events or their favourites or record a happy or sad experience.
Genius hour – This is a movement that allows students to explore their own passion projects.
Storyboard – This board is a place where children exhibit their own stories or pictures that tell their stories.
Drawing/ painting – This is one of the best activities where all children participate to explore the world of colours.
One goes back – This is a game where three objects are initially given to children. Later, one object is taken back and the children are asked to think of an alternative.
Clay work – This is one of the best activities which gives shape to children’s dreams.
Socratic questions – Socratic questions are those questions that prompt children to think and come up with further questions. This encourages all children to try and respond. Ideally the answers to such questions are not end points, but are instead a beginning to further analysis and deeper understanding. Some examples of Socratic questions are as follows:
- How would the world be different if animals could talk?
- If you could make one rule that everyone in the world have to follow, what would that be? Why?
- What would you do if you were invisible?
Socratic questions can also enable character building: Would you cheat on a test if you knew you would not be caught? If you could give one gift to every single child in the world, what gift would you give? What five words would describe you the most?
Completing a story - Here children add to or complete an existing story (usually a popular one). When I asked children of class one to suggest a different ending to the popular story ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’, they came up with answers like:
- The hare woke up before the tortoise reached the end line and won.
- There was a river in the middle of the forest in which the hare could not swim and so the tortoise won.
- The tortoise had already left a few carrots on the way to distract the rabbit.
- It was a magic tortoise; it could fly!
- The hare felt sorry for the tortoise and so waited for him.
- The hare was caught in a hunters net and the tortoise won.
- The deer carried the tortoise to the winning point when the hare was asleep.
This activity makes the children to use their imagination and creativity effectively.
Conclusion: Creative activities makes the teaching of a lesson very easy. Make time for creativity. Most of the creative activities mentioned above take only a few minutes to do. They require some preparation time and cost little money, if any. Let us live by the words of Dr. Ruth: "Live life every day like a turtle". To get anywhere, a turtle has to stick its neck out and take a risk. So take risks every day. It is the only way to truly live and make a difference in the world.
Teacher: Srilakshmi Vijayakumar., GPS Embalam.
Term: Term 3