Creativity is important in child development. It's essential for problem-solving. Without creativity, children will grow up not knowing how to think outside the box, which could limit their options in life. Nurturing creativity starts in the home, but it should continue in school.
Creativity is a natural, immeasurable ability. As teachers, what you can do is encourage children to embrace this ability through activities that spark their imagination. A book project is one such activity.
You can use a book making kit is one way to make kids practice their creative juices. They can write a story, draw pictures, and publish the book. They can come up with any story and learn how to convey their ideas through imagery. Writing projects allow students to develop characters, settings, and even come up with a plot twist. In the process, they also learn the discipline that drives the creation process, from writing and illustrating to lay-outing the pages and publishing the book.
It may be a creative project, but creating a book also teaches kids a methodical process. They can gain an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into a story. And because they will be working with other students, the activity also teaches them about teamwork. Some kids may come out as leaders, others as ambassadors of organization.
You can ensure the success of this creative endeavor by using one other element: emotions.
Making Emotional Connections
Research shows that emotion can strongly influence a person's cognitive processes. This includes attention, reasoning, and problem-solving. It would then be ideal for the students to have some emotional connection to their stories. They have to be able to relate to the plot and the characters.
As such, don't limit their ideas.
You can group the students as you see fit, and allow them to brainstorm for stories. You can guide them with prompts, like retell an old fairy tale according to current times or turn your summer vacation into a sci-fi story, for an efficient process. Alternatively, you can get suggestions from the students about what type of stories they would want to work on.
Use a Creativity Model
A creativity model can help challenge ideas in a divergent thinking pattern. An example would be the Osborn-Parnes model. Although it's the oldest, it's the most widely accepted model to this day. The goal is to test ideas and later converge them into a narrowed-down exploration.
This is how it works:
- Mess-finding: Determine an objective or a goal.
- Fact-finding: Gather information.
- Problem-finding: Clarify the problem.
- Idea-finding: Look for ideas.
- Solution-finding: Strengthen and assess every idea.
- Acceptance-finding: Come up with a plan to implement ideas.
These steps embody the model of creative thinking used in problem-solving. Children can learn from it best in a step-by-step approach. The model is about letting kids maximize their potential and challenge what they already know.
Creativity is essential for everyone, not just for artists. A lesson about creativity is a lesson about life and how to thrive — a critical skill that children need to learn as they grow older.