Saturday, May 14, 2011

Imagination and Creativity

Over the past six months, I've had the pleasure of learning from Ian Chia (@ianchia) as part of my Twitter PLN. Ian is incredibly creative, and really pushes me to think and try things that I never did in the past. Ian also lives and works in Australia, and learning as much as I do from Ian, continually reminds me that with the use of Web 2.0 tools, the world is definitely a lot smaller.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a Skype call with Ian early one morning (late one night for him), and he invited my class to do something special. He wanted my students to think about something small that captures their attention, but that adults often ignore (e.g., the ants crawling around on the floor), and write about it. Ian didn't care if the final product was perfect, but what he was really interested in was the "process." How did the students develop their ideas? What did they discuss? What interested them?


Creative Writing on PhotoPeach



For our Friday Journal this week, my students worked in partners on this writing activity. They were so excited! I gave them the use of any tool and topic that they wanted. All that I required was that they were creative, and allowed themselves to just let go and write. The results were amazing! The students planned their written pieces -- making a list of characters, setting, problems, and solutions -- and then started writing. For over two hours, our room was a real writers' workshop. I was sitting with groups, hearing their ideas, watching them write, and seeing them have fun too. Not all of the groups are finished yet, but they will have some more opportunities in the coming weeks to finish their writing then. Have a look though at what they did create.

Ian's invitation really pushed my students to step out of their comfort zone, experiment with different tools, and try different writing forms, all while having fun writing too. Thanks Ian for helping my students work through the creative writing process while completing some finished pieces that they feel proud of as well.

Have you ever tried a similar writing activity before? What were the results? I would love to hear about your experiences as well!

Aviva

6 comments:

Ms. Deyenberg said...

Fantastic project - writing for an audience (a far away audience at that!) really can inspire students. I love the various ways of publishing - it really shows that the students could present their ideas in the way that it best suited them and their story!

Aviva said...

Thanks Jen! I loved this aspect too. While we discussed various tools as a class, some students even thought of different ones to use as they started outlining their story. I love how they can have such ownership over this writing.

Thanks for the comment!
Aviva

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing their work Aviva! They did a great job! Were they able to select their co-writing partners? I love the differentiation of instruction.

Aviva said...

Thanks Susan! Yes, in this case, the students did select their own partners (for the most part). We do a lot of partner work in the classroom, so the students are used to working with many different partners. This always helps!

Aviva

bkbsmiles said...

They just needed an idea and they were off and running. I would love to read some of the results.

Aviva said...

Thanks for the comment! The students definitely did just "run with the idea." I linked the stories in the post, so I hope you saw them and got a chance to read some of them too. I was really pleased with what they did!

Aviva