Creativity is a skill that people are quick to say, “You are either have it or not.” Most often, we can forget that creativity is a skill and not an inherited trait. Like any skill, we have to create environments and activities that foster a skill’s growth. For instance, in a graduate level course at the University of San Diego, our professor displayed a zoomed image. She asked us to write down what we thought the image was. After we shared our guesses with our peers. Once we shared our guesses became more radical and creative. Our conversation was rich with our creative guesses of this image. The professor zoomed out the image and we could see that many of us had ventured far from what this image could be. I have used this strategy with my students in second grade. At first, students had similar responses. As I continue to use this activity, I can identify my students’ schema as they explain their guesses. This creativity building exercises gives student the opportunity to venture out of the box. Additionally, students’ self-efficacy about creativity changes positively. As educators, we have to create environments and activities that foster creativity.
Another fragment of fostering creativity is teacher feedback. After learning about growth and fixed mindset, it is important to understand the importance of word choice. For instance, asking open-ended questions can lead to a rich discussion versus recall responses. Statements like “I can see you worked really hard” can help foster student’s ability to continue working hard. Statements that recognize student effort or challenge assumptions can help students reflect critically. Sometimes saying it to a student is not enough. Writing growth mindset statements on their work or leaving a digital comment can increase students’ creative output.
Steps for Guess Image Lesson
1. Select an image to show your students.
2. Save the image with a random name and do not save on your desktop
3. Make sure to zoomed image ready to go without students seeing.
4. Display image to students
5. Students discuss with a partner or group
6. Whole class discussion
7. Reveal Image
Some tips for the creativity-building lesson are:
· Pick a large image with lots of color and variation in texture
· Make sure to use different types of images (landscapes, food, cartoons, etc.)
· Allow time for students to share with a partner and class discussion
· Give students appropriate response time to explain their creative logic
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Copyright © 2013 All Rights Reserved Michelle Villasenor
Michelle Villasenor is a elementary teacher that focuses on educational technology and student-centered learning. She holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum Instruction from University of San Diego.