Creativity is all about using and widening the imagination to explore the world in NEW WAYS and CREATE SOMETHING ORIGINAL AND INNOVATIVE.
Creativity helps teachers and students to express thoughts, feelings, and hopes. We all need creative thinking to solve everyday issues of our lives. Ideas generation, innovation, and solutions-focused thinking are all highly valued skills in the 21st century.
SO, IF CREATIVITY IS SUCH A BIG FUSS, HOW DO WE MASTER IT?
As teachers, we keep pondering on how to develop creative thinking in students. We keep thinking and questioning ourselves:
Where does our creativity come from?
How can we enhance creative thinking in students?
How can creativity support the growth of other life skills?
I have been thinking and working on these lines recently. I am very much delighted to share my teaching-learning experiences as a LIFE SKILLS FACILITATOR for the ‘TAQADDAM’ program by the British Council.
Here are some of my favorite sessions aimed to explore creativity and imagination and have a high-energy experience in the classroom. Parents can also use these ideas to have fun-filled interactions with their kids at home!
The best way to connect with your students is to provide them the opportunities to ‘EXPRESS THEMSELVES’. They want their emotions and feelings to be listened not JUST heard! I love to use these simple activities frequently as a lesson starter as it helps me to make positive connections with students. Teenage students find these activities as a great way to vent their negative energy as it increases self-awareness. Students become reflective about personal purpose and values. Please make sure that everyone gets an opportunity to speak.
My Takeaway: In one of the online sessions when I asked them to draw something that can bring a positive change in the world, to my surprize one of the students drew a syringe labeled ‘COVID-19 VACCINE”. In the other session when I asked them “If you were a fruit, what fruit would you be and why?” A quiet and shy student said, “She is a coconut, tough from outside but a lot is hidden underneath which many people don’t see and understand”.
YES! THE MORE YOU KNOW YOURSELF, THE MORE YOU GROW YOURSELF!
It is about “pie of your life”, you need to make it as meaningful as you can!
Well, this is one of my favorite activities as a teacher-parent. I had done this activity with teachers, students, and my children as well. Each of these experiences has given me great insights to understand and analyze Human psychology. The students liked it as it has helped them make great connections with me and peers. Overall, this activity develops a sense of purpose and builds a deeper understanding of personal needs for wellbeing.
My Takeaway: When I drew the current ‘pie of my life’, I was shocked to see that I am spending bare minimum time for ‘yoga’. It was an eye-opener for me. Also, I was delighted to see some of my student’s pie charts, as they were spending time daily on ‘self-reflection’, which shows great maturity and awareness at this age and time.
TRULY, THEY FACILITATED THIS LIFE SKILL SESSION FOR ME!
YES INDEED! You can use this activity to stimulate creativity and imagination and have a high-energy experience in the classroom and even at home! I have done this activity twice with the same class, first at school and the second time online! To my surprise, they showed great energy in both the sessions. This activity helps their brain to express ideas in a different way. It will be a worthwhile experience when you engage students to discuss, reflect, and share what they think is their best, worst, most useful, most useless ideas were.
My Takeaway: As we repeated this session during the COVID-19 time, so, for the uses of a pencil, It was hilarious to see one of the groups posting online, “murdering coronavirus with it” while other wrote, “show your anger by breaking it in two pieces.”
WOW! THEY DO STRETCH THEIR IDEAS!
Teachers would love this simple idea generation activity as it requires no preparation as such and is quite fast-paced. The best thing about this activity is that it builds the student’s confidence and ability to generate ideas and try new things. They get fully engaged to share, improve, and grow each other’s ideas which imparts a great learning experience.
My Takeaway: When I told my class, “THERE ARE NO BAD IDEAS, SO, KEEP SHARING”, It was interesting to see my class working towards this brainstorming activity and even the most silent students were participating throughout!
THAT WAS JUST AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!
In this creative activity, students work in groups to explore different attributes and ideas about leadership. Students feel empowered and confident after doing this group activity as they try to identify their own strengths and areas for development. The main purpose of this activity is to understand what kind of leaders students want to be and how they will use their soft skills in the future.
My Takeaway: I was astonished to witness their creative thinking skills when students described the wonderful characteristics of LEADERS in terms of HEAD, HANDS, and HEART! One of the groups drew an ‘Alien’ as a futuristic leader and the attribute related to the heart was ‘HUMANITY’!
WHAT AN INTEGRATION OF ALIEN AND HUMAN LEADERSHIP VALUES!
It is an online activity where students utilize their creative energy to form a story or express an idea. This activity improves flexible thinking and builds multi-dimensional ideas by seeing new concepts. I have done this activity using Google Jamboard as an online collaborative tool. By the end, encourage students to share their reflections and feedback and how could they use this session to widen their creative thinking!
My Takeaway: Students love expressing themselves by creating stories! I was able to connect with them personally after this activity as I could feel the emotions and attitudes twined with each story. Some of the stories surprised me with their depth of creative thinking and imagination.
I WAS OVERWHELMED TO SEE THE TRANSFORMATION OF YOUNG MINDS!
Create a culture of creative thinking in your classroom by following these simple tips:
- YOU ARE CREATIVE! Students need to be reminded to generate their own ideas and solutions in an environment free of criticism.
- EVERYONE IS CREATIVE! All students have the capacity to create and experience the joy of having new ideas, but they must be helped to believe in their capacity to be creative.
- QUESTIONING BOOSTS THE SPIRIT OF CREATIVE THINKING! Make questioning a part of the daily classroom exchange; it is more important for students to learn what questions to ask and how to ask them than to learn the answers.
- REFLECT ON YOUR AND OTHER IDEAS! Students broaden their perspectives by learning to reflect upon ideas and concepts from different points of view.