The presentation below:
- Defines creativity.
- Offers practice with specific exercises.
- Gives an opportunity to play fun games related to the lesson.
BackgroundI first wrote about the games in May of 2012, but I am continually updating the presentation and games to make them more versatile. The original post was so teachers could create their own similar presentation. Those resources can still be found at the end of this post.
Relevant updates before we get to the details:
I recently finished my creativity game about the important elements of a great story. It's called Coming Soon. In it students compete to create the best ideas for a movie trailer. It's my current favorite project and part of a larger work I'm developing based on Donald Miller's Storyline book and process.
And my generic creativity game system can be found here: The Classroom Creativity Game
Be sure to check the sidebar at the right for popular posts and other relevant resources.
In 2012 I began posting about my creativity exercises and games. As I have improved the presentation and the games, I am updating resources and links in this post.
Effectively presenting and practicing the exercises before playing the games will greatly enhance the students' enjoyment of the games. They often don't want to stop playing. Written comments have been positive with many expressing how fun it is to practice creativity.
Students learn that they can improve creativity by practicing certain skills.This has been very encouraging to me and I am continuing to develop this into a unit of study or possibly a 10-week course on the subject.
The video presentation and tips for modifying itI created two videos below that can be played for the students in class. Normally the outline would be:
- Watch the first video.
- Play the example games I refer to.
- Watch the second video.
- Play the creativity games while they practice the skills.
Alternatively, a teacher could use my presentations as an example, but presentation the information and exercises in her own way. If you're thinking of adapting it, here's a more detailed flow of the presentation:
- Examples from my creative pursuits in game design - A teacher would want to substitute his or her personal examples here.
- A working definition of creativity - "Making connections to find new, good ideas"
- The distinction between an idea and a final product
- Some questions for classroom response systems to measure students' own perceptions of their creativity
- Examples that allow students to practice the skills of brainstorming and evaluating ideas and making connections
- Sample games - Two are just examples of my own work. The third is Why Did the Chicken...? which allows some students to compete to write the funniest answers to random riddles.
Here is the first video of the presentation. It covers the purpose of the activity and provides the definition of creativity used throughout.
The presentation leads into two free classroom games I created. You can find information about those here:
- Oh, Really! classroom game (And if you don't have ActivInspire, here's a free browser-based version of the same game with a different name--What's It to Ya?)
- This or That? classroom game (based on the game Take Your Pick)
And here is the second video. In this part I lead a couple of brainstorming activities and I show what it means to make connections. After those practice exercises the teacher could lead the class in one to three games, which are listed below.
Games for this part of the presentation are here, along with the rules:
Again, if you don't have ActivInspire, you might prefer these more generic creativity games. These can be used in a variety of ways on many more computer systems than the versions above:
- The Classroom Creativity Game - Combines several versions of the creativity system into one webpage.
- Coming Soon - The Creativity Game of Great Movie Trailers - Students compete to come up with the best ideas for a movie. This can be used to teach the elements of a great story.
Other things I've learned from using this in class:
- Have a backup plan in case the riddle game is not going over well. Other creativity games or activities can be found through the related pages linked from the header of this blog.
- Pick yourself or another teacher as one of the nouns for the first riddle of Why Did the Chicken...? It makes it much easier for them.
- The games and presentation does not have to be completed in one sitting. Break up the elements of the presentation over several days or throughout the semester. Most of the games I have created would work well as a prompt for the end of class. Homework could be to turn in one or more answers to a riddle. Votes for the best one could be done the next day or even later after the teacher has narrowed it down to some possibilities.
These are the first versions of this presentation that I made in May, 2012. They are notes to a teacher rather than the presentation that could be played in class to students:
Part 1: Definitions, examples of my work and the questions for the class
Note: I neglected to mention in this recording that I also talk about the need for more creativity in school and how creativity enhances one's life. I never present these activities as a way to convince students their ideas will make them rich.
Click here to view Part 1 at Screencast.com.
Part 2: Examples from a game of Why Did the Chicken...? and some practice exercises for brainstorming and evaluation
I tried this activity last week without the creativity exercises before the game and the responses were much more interesting from the class that did the exercises. Based on their answers in the game and written responses after we played there is no doubt they were thinking more and they better grasped the point of the activity.
Click here to view Part 2 at Screencast.com.