You cannot govern the creative impulse, all you can do is eliminate obstacles and smooth the way for it. -Kimon Nicoliades
Providing this opportunity for children, “smoothing the way,” is what art integration is all about. Teachers need simply to provide students with creative opportunities and “eliminate obstacles” in order to witness the creativity of their students.
Integrating art in the classroom in connection with our modern world makes for relevant, meaningful and engaging experiences for children in their learning. I dare say we “trick them” into learning this way. This is what I had in mind when I recently created my “Student Selfie” and “iDesign an App” lessons. These art integration lessons are popular because students can relate to these projects and most importantly they are interested in them. They “get” it!
As soon as you have student engagement the rest is a breeze!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the TED talk by Sir. Ken Robinson “How schools kill creativity” …and if you haven’t then it’s a must for all teachers. Check it out here:
One of the famous things Ken states is that we “…teach creativity out of children.” I bet you are wondering how that could possibly be. Well, when children are always told they are “wrong” they start to be afraid to think for themselves and before you know it, they no longer feel safe to be creative. Ken Robinson says it better than I ever could.
After all, it takes bravery to be wrong. All children are born artists, you’ve heard that saying from Picasso probably a million times.
It is our job as educators to keep our students from “growing up” when it comes to creative thinking and problem solving. We don’t know what the world will look like when our students are adults but we do know that creative thinking and problem solving skills will always be essential to their success. We must provide our students with creative moments where it doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong, it doesn’t matter what their test score says and it doesn’t matter what others think. We must provide our students with moments that inspire them and moments that allow them to feel safe to create without judgement or fear of being wrong.
These two art integration lessons do all of these things. Both of these lessons make excellent bulletin board displays that your students will be proud of.
1. Selfie (self portrait) lesson with writing prompts (text messages). Students LOVE getting to make a “selfie” and write a text message in class. I told my student to go home and tell their parents that I gave them an iPhone at school and then to watch the look on their parents faces. The kids thought that was pretty funny! This project allows students to draw, write, and express their interests in a new and creative way.
Nobody can tell them they are wrong when it comes to themselves. The writing prompts encourage students to discuss things that are meaningful to them like their summer adventures and what goals they might have for the upcoming year. There is even a blank text message form so kids can do all the creating!
Check out this video…
2. “iDesign an App” group poster project– This project is the mother of all creative and collaborative projects! First students will design an app that includes details like the app name, size, description and logo design. Students will also design and draw a “preview” of one page from the app.
Then students will draw the logo onto a post-it-note. The notes from the class will be added to a group poster that resembles an iPad (that the kids also make). The poster holds from 24-32 app logos that are 3″ x 3″ standard post-it-note size. Children get to work individually and creativity while dreaming up any app they can think of and then when they are all done their work will be displayed collectively on the iPad poster. The final poster will look something like this…
Both of these lessons are now available in my TPT store. I know these lessons will be engaging, foster creativity in your kids, and will make your life as a teacher a little bit easier (my main goals with my lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers).
Thanks for stopping by my Blog–I hope you have a great school year.
If you are new to my site please be sure you check out all the FREE resources I have available to get you started experimenting with art integration!