Want to know how to teach creativity? This post will give you a few insightful tips on how to do this. Read on.
The humdrum daily routine suppresses the creativity of people. This may lead to unpleasant consequences, especially when it comes to students. Without creativity, a person’s thinking capacity cannot fully thrive. Following a certain teaching plan doesn’t mean you have to stick to mundane teaching activities. Not only does such practice make learning more boring but more ineffective, as well.
It’s too bad that in the 21st century many teachers, mentors, and even parents, still hold on to some old-fashioned, boring ways of teaching. Such ways simply don’t develop creative skills. Luckily for you, there are many ways to unravel people’s potential by encouraging creativity. In this article, we’ve outlined several ways to teach creativity and escape from the boredom. Let’s begin.
1. Make learning fun through games, puzzles, and brain teasers
Fun activities make students more alert and open to truly understand the material that’s taught. They capture students’ interest for longer and engage their minds actively. Introduce games and riddles as a part of your teaching methods and you will challenge student’s logical, critical, and creative thinking. As a result, the learning process will be more effective.
There are many different creative skills and abilities students can develop through games. Logic, strategy, the ability to adapt, the ability to make decisions and solve problems under pressure, and of course, the ability to think outside the box.
2. Involve all senses with music and visual materials
It’s a long known fact that people accept information times better when more of their senses are occupied.
How easily can you memorize a text when you read it from a book repeatedly versus when you listen to it in the form of song lyrics?
How fast can you understand a mechanism, a concept, or a situation when it is written as a plain text versus when it is supported by an illustration?
We bet you chose the second options. Human beings are programmed to use all of their senses in acquiring information from the surrounding world. Ever since babies, people observe, listen, touch, taste to understand. People have an innate instinct to explore which you can use in the learning process. Use different methods to encourage students’ critical thinking and develop their creative skills. Here are a few suggestions:
One of the most impactful tools for stimulating creativity and occupying students’ interest. When it comes to teaching creativity, music helps a long way. For example, when teaching history, music and sound effects can help students immerse into the environment. When teaching foreign languages, songs of a particular language will help students adapt to the sound of it more easily. You can make the students guess the lyrics. Imagine how fun, effective, and simplified the learning process would be!
Short movies, video lectures, even animations, and animated explainer videos – all of these tools can successfully occupy students’ minds, encourage multi-sensory learning and creativity, and help students understand the material effectively.
Besides making the teaching process easier, you can provoke students’ critical and creative thinking by showing a short video of a relevant subject. Then, encourage discussion on this particular subject. Such provocative videos could be video lectures like Ted Talks or similar. Students will be encouraged to express their opinion and explain their reasoning.
Infographics, storyboards, pictures
It is a well-known fact that illustrations and graphs help simplify a complex subject. More advanced visual materials are infographics, storyboards, presentations, etc. They combine information in a written form with pictures, icons, visual analogies, thus making learning not only easier but more interesting, as well.
You can teach creativity and provoke imagination by encouraging students to use visual materials such as pictures and illustrations to tell a story. Let them use their own visual analogies to explain a subject. Give them a task to create an infographic on a particular subject. This way, you will not only optimize the learning process but develop students’ creative skills, as well.
3. Encourage collaboration and exchange of ideas
Great ideas are born from receiving new perspectives. And new perspectives are best received when people discuss. All kinds of collaboration between students unlock new perspectives and fresh ideas. Collaboration stimulates students’ minds and boosts their creativity. This is why it is very important to plan collaboration sessions that engage all students.
Organize brainstorming sessions on trendy topics and topics related to the curriculum. Discussions between students will encourage them to speak their minds and understand other people points of view. Such brainstorming session can be very effective for developing students creativity in subjects like literature, humanities, philosophy, music, etc.
Assigning roles and recreating real-life situations is a great way to take students out of their comfort zone. When put in a real-life situation, students’ minds are more occupied in the subject. As a result, they are more inclined to show creativity and think outside the box in order to resolve the situation or dispute.
4. Organize activities in an informal environment
The environment has a huge impact on a person’s creativity. Learning outside the typical room settings is a great prerequisite for inspiration and creativity boost.
Taking students outside of the same four walls of the classroom is a breath of fresh air not only literally but figuratively speaking as well. Especially in terms of creativity and inspiration.
A change of the settings with more informal ones fosters creativity even more, especially when combined with collaboration sessions. Outdoor lessons and class activities stimulate the senses and help students visualize ideas even better.
Historical and cultural sites
Visiting historical sites is a whole new level of understanding history and the culture of the past days. Especially in terms of subjects like literature, arts, history, biology – a visit to a museum or another historical place helps students visualize and relate to the information and events described in the textbooks. In addition, giving tasks to students related to their visits is a great way to teach creativity.
When students show an explicit interest in a particular subject, it’s a great idea to start an after-school club where students can discuss matters and exchange ideas related to this subject. Such activity definitely boosts creativity and broaden their perspectives.
5. Pursue flexibility
Being flexible and trying new things are key qualities that drive a person’s motivation and creativity. Luckily, there are so many things you can do to escape from boring teaching activities and foster students’ creativity. Here are a few.
Inspiring classroom environment
Always looking at the same interior settings of the classroom can have a negative impact on students’ creativity. Let students decorate the classroom with art, plants, posters, boards for inspiring thoughts, etc. The whole process will be a lot of fun and will definitely provoke their creativity.
Rearrange the seating
Experiment with the seating charts. Rearrange the whole classroom to create space for collaboration and group activities, as well as private spaces for individual work that requires more concentration.
Passion projects and artistic activities
Once in a while, give your students tasks for open-ended and passion projects of their interest. This will give students the opportunity to develop their decision-making and creativity skills.
Another idea is to give them the freedom to draw, write poetry, or do any activity which inspires them but related to a subject of their choice from the curriculum.
Make students a part of the teaching process by switching roles with them. Give them a task to prepare a presentation on a subject from the curriculum, as well as think of interesting activities connected to this specific topic like questions and quizzes that will engage the whole class.
Give points for creativity
Probably the most motivational act for students to show creativity would be to use it as part of your grading system. If they know they will be given more points for being creative, they will most definitely come up with amazing ideas for their next assignments.
To wrap up,
Developing creative skills is crucial for education because creativity expands people’s thinking capacity. Unfortunately, the humdrum teaching routine may suppress creativity more than you think. With these practical tips in mind, it’s easy to spice up the whole learning process and teach creativity in the name of more effective education.
If you’d like to express your own point of view on the subject, we’ll be waiting for your comments below.