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Lesson Plans

Re: Creativity VS (suggestion for K-5)

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Diane C. Gregory, Ph.D. (dianegregory)
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 09:33:51 -0600

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Hey Brian:

What a wonderful description of a creative teaching method.

Thanks for sharing


>TO Diane &ALL: (Elem. oriented + art ed. profs)
> I am one of those people who has stopped putting my 2 cents worth into every
>discussion that pops up. After self analysis I found it to be an ego
>problem. Therefore
>this post is pure MEAT.
> This is my first year teaching the lower grades (art on a cart K-5) and I
>have attempted
>to preprogram my students observation, problem solving, and creative
>thinking skills. I
>am hoping to eliminate some of the problems I encountered in ten years of
>middle and
>high school art teaching.
> I made up a warm up exercise that requires no materials, just a good
>story and bunches
>of <teacher> enthusiasm. It all begins here........
> OK guys time to put on the ol' 'magination caps.. ME an'
>.......(random name of
>student(s) in class) were coming back from a hard day of........(fishing,
>hunting, antique
>shopping, fighting the British....whatever is appropriate with the
>time<link>) and we
>stopped to rest in a small meadow. There were lots of clouds zooming by and
>pointed to one and exclaimed look! A hippelopotttumus! I snap back, " that's
>a towtruck
>you ginker!". We have a loud exchange (me and myself) extolling the merits
>of our own
>observations pointing out features which we have seen to lead to our
>conclusions and
>find that we both are right! (this story-part is a set up for the warm-up
>and only has to be
>done once in each class---they remember!)
> This (especially in the lower grades) leads to a lively discussion of
>things children
>have seen in clouds...(careful you will have to reign this one in as the
>"one uppers" get
>carried away)
> I then calm things down by putting on my "teacher face" and explain to
>them that I am
>going to put a shape on the board and ask them to use their
>creativity-IMAGINATION to
>"see" something. The shapes I draw are random and varied closed combined shape
>(maybe a bumpy thing with quasi geometrics protruding in some areas and
>intruding in
>others) The first shape gets few or no responses and these are very
>tentative. As each
>student "sees" something, I add to the shape details "clues" until all the
>students can "see"
>it too. This might involve wheels on the "towtruck" or ears and eyes on the
>After this foot-wetting the concept mushrooms and you will find yourself
>faced with a
>sea of hands for each shape and ( with the bigger kids), some students come
>to the board
>and point out the elements for there observations (and I add clues)and some
>even draw in
>there own clues. After we have all "seen" the same as "Sara", I erase and
>redraw the
>same original shape again and call on "Joey" who has found something totally
>Do a new shape after three students.
> This exercise takes up one class period but can be used afterward as a warm-up
>anytime....."Put on your "maginatin caps....What do you see in this shape?"
>You will still
>get the sea of hands and in 5 minutes they are ready for any art lesson!<<It
>sort of washes
>the bla..bla..blas out of there minds.
> Sorry about the length. Brian Foster
> Art Specialist
> West Iron Co. Schools
> Stambaugh, Michigan
> (Where the snow is deep and so is the.......)

Diane C. Gregory, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Art Education

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