In order to encourage creative writing in my class of grade 1s and 2s in a French Immersion school, I use the strategies described by Lucy Calkins to implement a Writer’s Workshop. The children are always working on a story. and can wrote at their own pace. Currently storyboard templates are available so they can choose to create a graphic story. My grade 2 boys love this activity and, once they have completed all other set tasks, can be seen working on their writing dossier.
I love that they are so engaged in creating – even those who are not too keen on writing. I hear them correcting one another and sharing their stories. They come to me and ask me how to express something in French – and then attempt to record the sentence (in writer’s workshop correct spelling is not the important focus – writing down the idea is). I cannot help but smile at their enthusiasm and look forward to reading their creations.
“Mommy, people today don’t use the creative side of their brain.” My daughter insists that her statement is true and I tend to agree with her. In my daily experience of the person living in the modern world, I notice that we are expected to follow the rules and stay within everyone’s comfort zone. Even though we are asked to ‘think out of the box’, our employers do not always reward us when we deviate from their expectations of how we should behave and work within the workplace environment.
Our creativity is stifled from the time we are at school. Children are asked to conform to rules and to respond to tasks in a particular way. Children who do think differently are often misunderstood. As children grow older, they lack the confidence to explore and delve into learning with the same creativity and vigour that they did when they were young. Adults seem to have much of their creativity siphoned out of them.
If we could create more – with our hands, with our minds – we may be able to release some of the stress that we hold within ourselves. We should look into ourselves and our imagination in order to help fulfil our souls. We should look inside of ourselves instead of relying on others to feed the creative part of our being. We should look into our own minds instead of relying on the film maker to imagine for us.
Creative people are rare in the modern world. Each person does have a spark of creativity within them. It is up to each individual to nurture it and help it bear fruit.
(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)
He had spent weeks working on the sculpture: bending scraps of metal, soldering, creating. His plan had been to do this for his nephew: Kyle loved everything about dinosaurs and read voraciously about them. He had wanted to surprise the boy with a unique skeleton of a pleisiosaur; yet the surprise had been his own. He had never thought that the creativity of working with metal would relax him and calm the anger he perpetually carried in him. Focusing his energy on the sculpture, he hoped that his new-found hobby would become a turning point in his life.
Last week my class finished their project (the post on the activities can be found here). The creative artwork was set up on the room door and on the bulletin board outside of the room. We have managed to create a festive scene in the hallway – a scene that all the members of the class are proud of.
I love the tree made up of all the students’ hand prints. Some children created tree decorations while others drew some presents to put underneath the tree.
The chimney stands tall, waiting for Santa to come by. Stockings, presents and Christmas decorations bring added cheer to the mantelpiece.
The artwork is not perfect: fabric is not cut perfectly straight, lines are not drawn exactly as is seen in reality, colouring does not fill in all the white spaces. And yet all the small imperfections are barely noticed when one admires the creativity of 5 year olds.
Do you enjoy looking at the imperfect art of children?
I remember the first time I learned to draw in perspective. Up until then my sketches had a two-dimensional feel to them: they were simple and I never really believed that I could be an artist. As many children do, I had spent many afternoons whiling away the time with pencils and paper. But I had never created a piece of art worthy to be labelled as such.
A group of us were seated in front of the instructor and we were to draw a simple briefcase. We all laughed nervously when we were told that we would be able to produce a drawing worthy to be part of a design package. We were all adults, teachers who had enrolled in a module to learn to teach Design and Technology. We were used to holding pieces of chalk in our hands – not lead pencils.
With our instructor’s guidance, we began our drawing: simple lines that slowly became shaped to what we were seeing in front of us. We were drawing out the theory of perspective drawing that we had learned earlier. It was unbelievable to me that, with the correct knowledge, we were all able to create a drawing that reflected reality. Not only did we learn how to draw in perspective; but we also learned how to render the image with different shades of colour.
Have you tried to draw in perspective?
(Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by The Gypsy Mama. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s prompt is: Perspective)
Each week Jakesprinters suggests a theme for creative inspiration. You can post your response to the theme on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next theme is announced. Your response can be either a photo, a video, music or a piece of writing. Remember to post your link in the comments section of the weekly challenge.
This week’s prompt is: Design
When we think of the word design, we think of structures designed by engineers or houses that have been created by architects. We think of the artwork created by graphic designers, or the towns and cities that have been set out by town planners. We think of interiors created by interior designers and frocks that are shown on the catwalk.
The desire to design and create, however, starts when we are young. I look back to a drawing my daughters created and designed for my birthday last year. Surely what they have created here has required the same thought processes and decision-making that a trained designer makes?
Without thinking of it, we may be creating designs in our everyday lives when we move the furniture around in our home, when we ice a birthday cake, when we scrapbook a page for our album, or create something with fabric.