How to Enhance Creativity in School Children
If you are a teacher, there are lots of activities you can do and strategies you can adopt to get the creative juices flowing. Being creative is about finding innovative ways to solve problems, generating new ideas and finding ways to make things better to name a few. Research has shown that enhancing student creativity may offer benefits academically, developmentally and emotionally. The traditional education model has been criticized as hampering this type of thought. Here come some ways to enhance creativity for children in school:
1. Word games are a great way to encourage creative thinking because it allows children to make connections and establish relationships between different words.
2. Visual thinking games. Games that employ the use of visual thinking are great because they encourage visualization and the use of imagination—two important aspects of thinking creatively. Show the children an abstract image and ask them to tell you what they see, what the image looks like to them. Have them look at it from all different angles and perspectives. No judgments on answers—you do not want to do anything that will hamper their thinking process.
3. Drawing Games can help students build on existing concepts, knowledge and ideas, another key aspect of creativity. For example, you could hand out sheets of paper with a squiggly line drawn on it and students—either on their own or in pairs—could use this as a starting point to make their own drawing. Afterwards, they can guess what other students drew and discuss how they came up with their own picture.
Besides utilizing specific games, you can enhance creativity through the way you teach and interact with your students. Whenever possible, let students pick their own topics for presentations, projects and writing assignments; this will jump start creative thinking. And also encourage group collaboration as much as possible. Working with others and being exposed to their creative process can also help in building a student’s own creativity.
Creativity is not just about being good at drawing or some other creative art form. As a teacher, you have an opportunity to help students develop something that will enhance all aspects of their life.