Today is International Dot Day! This is a day to be creative and not be afraid to share what you create! The day is a celebration of creativity based on the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Click here to learn more at the International Dot Day website.
Vulnerable moment: Every single time I write a blog post, at some point I think to myself, “This is dumb.” or “This isn’t good enough to share.” But, just like the teacher in The Dot encourages her student to “make her mark”, I attempt to make my mark with each blog post. I think it is important to model risk-taking for our students AND to give them opportunities to take risks and be creative. These are the life-long skills they will need in the workplace.
I believe in providing students with learning activities that require them to use their creativity. Not only is creative thinking at the highest level of Bloom’s taxonomy, it is also a lot more fun and engaging than rote memorization or a worksheet.
I am most creative when I am under constraint! So give your students a constraint or two – including setting a timer. If you open up creativity with no time limits, students will often stare at their blank page (or screen) stuck. Set a time limit and give them specific materials or rules that they have to work within and see those creative juices flow!
So I extend the challenge from The Dot to you – make your mark THIS WEEK by being creative with your lesson content. Infuse an opportunity for students to be creative with your content! Here are FOUR fast and easy to implement ideas:
The 6-word Summary
- Ask students to write a 6-word summary of your content
- Give them a time limit
- You could do this with post-it notes or in Google Drawings or Slides so that students can make their text fancy and colorful
- Have students discuss their choices in small groups and/or write a short essay to explain their 6-word summary.
The Class Book
- Write a class book on your content using one shared Google Slide Deck
- You create the “front cover” – slide 1
- Assign each student one slide to complete
- Students could define a vocab word, tell about one part of the content, etc., or
- Students could complete a sentence such as, “To be a kid means to…”
- Each student writes their part of the book on their slide adding pictures, graphics, and text as they see fit.
- When complete, all students have access to a full student-created book!
- Ask students a question about your content, but instead of having them answer out loud or write their answer, have them use a school-appropriate bank of emoji’s to construct their answer!
- Have them explain their emoji choices in small group discussions or with a short essay.
- This blog post has a great school-appropriate emoji template ready to go!
Circles and Squares
- Answer a class question using only circles and squares in Google Drawings
- In the example below, the question was “What did you do this weekend?” My answer was “Go out to eat” which I showed by drawing my plate of crab cakes, fries, and peas with the given circles and squares only.
How else do you challenge students to use creative thinking under constraint?
I’d love to hear your ideas and strategies in the comments!