Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I was emailing with my FableFriends about some ideas, when I came up with the next Comment-A-Thon topic.
"What do you do in your job or life to foster creativity in kids?"
A lot has been written lately about the importance of creativity. Research, ISTE Standards, and journal articles seem to be catching up with what many of us have believed for a long time, Creativity is important!
As my day job is being a music teacher, being creative is not really a stretch. I frequently try to get kids to think "outside the box." Last year, my goal was to get the high school kids to be more involved with the text of the songs they were singing. I invented games and crazy contests, all in the name of greater involvement. One of the things I did in the Spring seemed to really bring out the creative spirit in the kids.
I asked the students to bring in a visual representation of something that was in their songs for state vocal contest. They could choose to depict the words of the song or a musical term. They could draw, use the computer, or, as a last option, they could find pictures in a magazine. The students did a great job. Some of them took photos, many found pictures online, some drew their pictures, and one kid made use of photoshop and created the best (and most humorous) assignment I have seen!
We were singing the song "In This Very Room" and it talks about how the higher power is always with you. So, the kid took a picture of the group and added a picture of Jesus in between a few kids. Because I don't know exactly whose parents have signed the agreement to post pictures, I have cropped most of the kids, the real picture was much better quality!
I teach in a public school and questioned whether I should post it with the others, but it was just too good to not post. Singing the music is protected....religious symbols might tread on thing ice..... Getting kids SO excited about learning.....Worth it!
In the earlier grades, we write rap songs (read about it here). Fifth grade kids animated some of their songs. All kids have an opportunity to write music on Garage Band. And, one of my favorite activities is having kids come up with new verses to songs.
What do you do? Please comment!