Creativity in the Classroom -- Help!

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Creativity in the Classroom -- Help!

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sep 16, 2008, 10:27 pm

Hi! I’m a senior at Michigan State University, for the secondary program, in College of Education.

As a future teacher and someone who is creating lesson plans this year, I am curious as to how to incorporate art into my English and ESL classrooms.

I’m hoping to hear some ideas about how to do make sure that students are able to express themselves through art, as well as, writing.

Every lesson plan I create that allows for alternate way for students to express their understanding and creativity, also includes a written explanation. I feel that this is necessary because students need to develop their writing skills, but I think that it gets a little exhausting for students.

Does anyone know of a creative way to let students express themselves and their understanding of a book in any other ways?


sep 17, 2008, 12:32 pm

How about a project where they take a book they have read and turn it into a children's picture book. They would have to write something in the book that basically brings it down to a lower level AND they have to create picture (art) to represent the book.

You could do this with different types of art materials (watercolor, pastels, pencil, etc...).

sep 17, 2008, 1:28 pm

Check out the Visual Literacy documents from the Ontario Ministry of Education- try or ( the provincial visual art organization ) Leave me a message on my profile page if you have trouble finding these resources.

sep 24, 2008, 7:55 pm

Are you familiar with recycled book projects? It's a great way for students to fire up their creative sides and showcase their work; if you aren't familiar with recycled books, just get books from libraries that aren't needed anymore. Then students use them and make them into their own books (similar to scrapbooking).

I'm doing a poetry unit with my students this fall, and each student is going to recycle a book to turn it into their own poetry collection. They will have to include at least ten poems that they write during the poetry unit. Our school library is donating books for students to use, and we may even have a poetry reading at the end. Student books will then be on display in the library!

okt 8, 2008, 11:56 pm

I've seen some of those recycled books and it can be very creative -- some students get quite inspired by being encouraged to cut up a book!

okt 18, 2008, 4:23 pm

You can do "a word a week" a la Sesame Street and have kids illustrate favorite words they can present to class. Kind of a sponge activity which can pull out the artist in any one.

feb 27, 2009, 1:28 am

Meddelandet raderat.

mar 17, 2009, 1:57 pm

I occasionally do an exercise where they have to write a letter from the author of a work to a friend/relative/editor of the author, explaining or rationalizing a particular aspect of the work. I don't require research--just that they think through something about the work and try to explain the reasoning from the author's point of view. They're usually surprised by how much they learn from it, especially once they share the letters in groups. I've heard of other teachers having students keep part of a journal from the perspective of a character in a book, going through the duration of all or part of the piece of literature. I can give you the assignment sheet for the first if you ever want it :) Good luck!

nov 17, 2009, 3:35 pm

When I teach symbolism, I have the students create or select an image that symbolizes them. Usually I do this in the computer lab and teach them how to make a poster or bookmark with the symbol. They write a short paragraph explaining why they selected the symbol. My ninth graders loved sharing these in class.

During poetry unit, students wrote several haiku s, selected a favorite, and created a small poster with the poem and artwork.

Also search webs for sketch and stretch activities.

jan 26, 2013, 4:08 pm

I have a book called "One Hundred Ways to Love a Book". It has great suggestions. My kids were asking, "Can we do this?"

apr 2, 2013, 8:17 pm

I'm a highschool history teacher, who uses both works of fiction and non-fiction in the history classroom. At the end of each book I select 2-3 activities from the multiple intelligences and allow my students to pick a project. They love it and I have gotten wildly imaginative projects!