Monday, 14 March 2016

Create to Learn

Creativity is one of the fundamental ways that we, as humans, express our individuality. At this point in their lives, our children are beginning to define themselves as people within their friendship groups, the school and greater society. Essentially, creativity is a means for them to construct a sense of self.

This is perhaps why the Global Creativity Network asserts that creativity is the most fundamental of human rights, a notion supported by Manaiakalani - after all, 'Create' is part of our learning model.  As such, our students are given daily opportunities to express themselves in this way.

The first thing that comes to mind when many people think of creativity in schools is art: painting, sculpting, drawing. This is the focus of my school this year and my students participate in art lessons a few times a week.

This is, of course, a means to express ourselves creatively, but ultimately we teach the subject in a far more holistic and wide reaching way. For example, the students also participate in Create activities in reading, writing, maths and inquiry.
Experimenting with paint

The students certainly enjoy their opportunities to create, but as educators, we must consider the nature of the tasks that we offer. They must support or cause learning, rather than being implemented merely for the sake of it. There must be both rhyme and reason, a pedagogical purpose in the chaos of creativity.
Using perspective
During our MDTA session, we focused on the idea that not only could we create artifacts to represent our learning, but we could also learn during the process of creation. I decided to implement a lesson using create to learn, after being inspired by our session and Ken Robinson's TED talk.

In this lesson, the children will be asked to identify and express numbers visually in the same manner as the picture below. This session will inspire the children to think creatively and see numbers in a new light. They will need to find the relationship between the numbers and their factors, using the formations as clues.
This session was formulated as part of the Week of Inspirational Math designed by Jo Boaler. 

This could have been taught traditionally through pure integers. However, I hope that the visual connection with mathematics will engage a number of my learners who otherwise might have switched off. I believe that this unit will encourage children to use mathematics in a creative, investigative and collaborative way.


  1. I love how you are actively planning and teaching for creativity in your classroom, Danni! The 'Learn, create, share' pedagogy opens up so many possibilities for creativity. Here is my post on creative expression.

    1. Thank you Latai, I found your post very interesting to read!