AUTHENTIC, CREATIVE APPROACHES IN THE SCHOOL LIBRARY
As you work toward bringing the joy back to learning, consider the resources and tools you suggest for teachers and learners. Look for innovative methods of communication and engaging learning materials.
The word "creativity" can manifest itself in different ways. We often lump all types of creativity into one category, however creativity can have many facets. Creative approaches shouldn't be fake or contrived. They can result in real-world solutions and meaningful products.
Generative. Some young people need a seed, starter, or prompt to kick-start ideas and creativity. Generative assignments involve producing new life or propagating offspring from an initial seed or idea. A meaningful theme and pathfinder of resources can provide the seed.
The year 2010 is the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. Ask students to learn about the war and generate a product that reflects a local connection. One student might build a project focusing on the topic of the Korean War and military desegregation using the website Stixy, stixy.com. Another learner could create a collage using showing a plan for a local Korean War memorial.
Inventive: Marked by independence in thought or action, inventive projects ask students to derive a new device or process from pre-existing or independently conceived ideas. Use a book such as The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow by Tim Kehoe to get students thinking about the of inventing toys. Then, introduce process the hook and website Howtoons, howtoons. corn, for examples of how inventions can be produced. Use downloadable software such as Sketchup, sketchup.google.com, to design models and Comic Life to share results.
Originative: Beyond simply building a product, originative students develop seminal ideas that provide the foundation for the work of others. Encourage originative thinking by reading books that present different points of view such as George vs. George by Rosalyn Schanzer. This book explores the Revolutionary War through the eyes of both George Washington and King George III. Working in pairs, ask students to create their own informational story about two people, animals, buildings, events, sides of an issue, or possible solutions. Get them thinking in new ways of the world. Use tools such as Pixton, pixton.com/, or Creaza, creaza.com, to build products that express their fresh viewpoint.
Productive: Spending time wisely, making good choices, and constructing quality materials are signs of a productive student. By setting the stage with quality resources and easy-to-use tools, you can help students be more productive.
For instance Geoffrey Hayes has written a series of graphic stories for young people such as Benny and Penny in The Big NoNo! These stories may stimulate interest in creating cartoons. Use the Cartoon Maker from Toon Books <toon-books.com/fun_cm.php> to scaffold student productions using character and illustration styles from the stories. Then introduce students to other tools for producing comics from scratch.