A few years ago I planned a family trip to New Orleans to take in some Cajun cooking and jazz (the picture is from Preservation Hall, one of the oldest jazz venues in the country). In order to plan the trip, I used Google Maps to provide the most efficient route, which included taking multiple interstates and state highways from Indiana to Louisiana. I followed the map and found the journey, the destination, and the family time to be quite enjoyable.
You can plan a trip to creativity in your classroom in a similar manner. In the article A Road Map for Creative Instruction author Pam Drapeau identifies four “roads” that can be traveled to creativity:
- Road 1: Creative Thinking Verbs – The language teachers use can help stimulate student creativity. Ask students to generate, connect, create, produce, construct, elaborate, improve, and improve. These verbs allow for multiple paths and multiple answers.
- Road 2: Creative Strategies – The instructional strategies teachers use can help stimulate student creativity. Ask students to brainstorm, web, visualize, symbolize, transform, and examine from a different perspective. These strategies allow for multiple paths and multiple answers.
- Road 3: Employ Creative Processes – Ask students to use creative thinking procedures and to be innovative. Direct them to look at problems through a variety of different lenses to ensure that they have the opportunity to explore an idea in full.
- Road 4: Creative Products – Ask students to share their understanding in creative ways, such as visual art, writing, drama, song, dance, building displays, and creating technology-based presentations. These kinds of projects allow for multiple means of expression and give students tremendous opportunities to shine.
As you prepare for next week, think about how you might use these four roads to enhance the lessons you will teach. Apply some of these techniques where they fit best. Your students will be glad you did!