How to Create Lesson Plans That Incorporate Creative Learning
Nothing compares to the practical channeling of a creative force. After all, it’s this force of creation that has served as the substrate of literally every innovation conceived since the dawn of man, from airplanes to Zambonis and everything in between.
So it should come as no surprise that the academic world, once stymied and stiff, is dusting off its old ways in favor of a more inspired future - a future in which all students are supported in uncovering their inherent creativity, and directed on how to best share that creative force with the rest of the world.
When seen for all it can accomplish for individuals in our education system as well as for the economic well-being of the society they’ll go on to serve, creativity in education becomes of paramount importance. So the question arises, how can this crucial awareness of creativity be taught more effectively in our schools and cultivated within our students?
Let’s take a closer look.
Incorporating Creativity Into Education
Creativity is not an external skill that exists outside of the mind. It’s not like a tool, separate from the user, that can be picked up and discarded at its owners leisure. Because of this, creativity shouldn’t be taught as an external skill, but rather woven into the fabric of the curriculum itself. In an ideal world, creativity is a part of everything children do, from showing up to first period to getting picked up again at the end of the day, and beyond.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that teachers can incorporate creativity into their lesson plans and inspire children towards a creative and innovative life.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” --Benjamin Franklin
Traditional education involves an active subject - the teacher at the front of the room - and a passive object - the students sitting and listening. However, this is not how creativity functions. The act of creating is a fully immersive experience in which the subject and the object merge together to create something new altogether.
Teachers can facilitate this type of immersive creative experience by incorporating hands-on opportunities throughout their lesson plans, allowing students to physically access a conceptual model of the topic at hand using their 5 senses (Rieber, Lloyd P. 1996). For instance, if the lesson is about geography, try having students assemble the states on the floor - an excellent exercise in spatial abilities as well as creativity. Or, for many STEM-related topics such as mathematics or engineering problems, it may be helpful to use construction systems such as Brackitz as a way to get students engaged in fun, hands-on problem-solving.
Creativity is unique in that it offers different perspectives and solutions depending on the individual solving the problem. This means that different students will come up with different creative approaches depending on their own skills, understandings, and past experiences. This makes team activities an excellent opportunity for students to flex their creative problem-solving skills in a fun and collaborate setting (Nijstad, B. A., & De Dreu, C. K. 2002). It also provides the additional stimulation of coming to conclusions in a dynamic group environment. Because of these reasons, team activities rank high on the list of ways to integrate creativity into existing lesson plans.
In standard projects, the outcome is dictated to the students by the teacher. For instance, the teacher might assign all students to build a collage expressing certain information about a given topic. These projects in which the end is determined by the teacher are called “close-ended projects”.
Open-ended projects, on the other hand, are projects where the outcome is determined by the students themselves, giving them more creative control and a sense of ownership that increases their emotional investment in their own learning.
An effective way to implement open-ended projects into the existing curriculum is to provide a rubric of several possible project ideas for students to embark on, or even to allow them to suggest completely original projects themselves. For example, you may take a standard project that you already assign as part of the existing curriculum - say, to make a diorama from a scene in a book you’re reading - and open the project up to other, alternative ways of being completed, such as through a poem, finger painting, or a scene built using a construction system such as Brackitz.
Instilling Creativity in Learners
Using Brackitz Integrating creativity in education should be fun for students, educational, and encourage creativity as a way of life. That’s the philosophy behind Brackitz construction systems - the most versatile construction system on the market. Brackitz has the added benefit of enabling students to begin developing their creative capacities from a young age.
Brackitz construction systems are a fun and inventive way for students to develop and demonstrate their creative abilities and can be seamlessly integrated into existing lesson plans. Start using Brackitz and open up your students and children to a future full of creativity and opportunity today.