Encourage Students to Be Creative in Your Art Classroom – Teaching Strategies for Art Educators
Art Teachers, we’re going to talk about Encouraging students to be creative in your Art Classroom! First, I’m going to share with you some ideas of how to fuel your creativity, which you can write down notes for then share in your OWN classroom. Second, I’ll talk about some Finish the Picture and Creativity Challenge ideas. These are all ideas that you can use or teach in your own classroom that can help encourage your students to be creative.
Here are my tips, ideas, and inspiration for learning how to fuel your creativity whether you create art, teach art to kids, write stories or poems, are a blogger, teacherpreneur, make YouTube Videos, or create podcasts. Ideas can be hard to come by when you have creativity block or writer’s block. Here are my tips for how to fuel your creativity and get your deepest, most authentic and genuine ideas!
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Schedule a time to be Creative
First, schedule a time to be creative. Creativity can’t happen if you don’t allow time for it to occur. Sometimes we have intentions on “painting this month” or “writing a blog post this week”, but before you know it, the month or week has passed and you made nothing happen. It is important for your own success that you schedule a specific date and time when you are going to block out the rest of the world, including your TV and phone (music is allowed). In my life, I schedule my own business and my free-creative times in my studio on my digital calendar. I use my OneDrive calendar, but you can use your Google Calendar or phone calendar app. You can also purchase a calendar or notebook calendar or agenda for the year where you can pencil in all your adventures and blocks where you will dedicate yourself to being creative in your office, lounge, studio or wherever you’re creative experiences occur.
Carry a Pen & Paper
Second, carry a pen and paper! Ideas can come at any time and anywhere. If you don’t record them right away, they will be gone by the time you find something to record the idea(s) with. Prepare yourself for creative success by always being prepared to capture ideas the moment your brain spits them out of the chaos and mutterings that are swirling around your head.
Get inspired by others!
Get inspired by others! One way I get inspired to create content, art, or crafts, is by taking an hour to three hour long emerge session. During this time, I focus all my listening and watching to others in my field that can inspire me. This means you are looking at blog posts, going to art galleries, watching YouTube videos, diving through Pinterest, reading magazines, watching documentaries, or listening to podcasts that are on a specific topic. Drink your coffee or tea or water while you listen. As you are focusing, jot down ideas in your notebook or make quick sketches in your sketchbook. Get your brain FIRED UP. Fuel it with a deep emerge session and go DEEP on 1 specific topic. The key to this creativity hack is that you need to set a timer. If you’re doing a Pinterest and Blog session, an hour might be good. If you’re diving through books, podcasts, documentaries, or other video content, you might want to book in more than 1 hour. I would say 3 hours at a max or you will go down a black hole of endless time wasting, and then you will have accomplished nothing. The trick here is to feed of the fuel of your focus topic then when that alarm goes off, GET TO WORK. Start creating your content, your blog post, your art, your book. Whatever it is, WORK.
Fuel your Creativity
Fuel your creativity with good food and antioxidants. Your creativity can’t exist without your brain and body. It is important to ensure you are fueling your body and brain for success with important vitamins and minerals. Have your veggies, grains, nuts and vitamins and minerals each day. Ensure you are drinking a lot of water to keep your body hydrated and to make sure the toxins and wastes are flushed out. Make sure you eat clean and limit the amount of processed foods you eat. Avoid plastics. Whole foods are the way to go to allow for healthy eating that will fuel your body and mind. You NEED your body and brain to live and work at its fullest potential and it CANNOT do that if what you put into your body can’t sustain your body. Remember, there is a dark side of creativity. Sometimes, we can go so deep and if we don’t consume things that are good for us and instead choose unhealthy alternatives or use too much of other substances, then the dark side can overwhelm our minds. Searching through your creativity means you are connecting with yourself on a deep level. Make sure you do it in a healthy way.
Download Free Art Worksheets for Kids
Click here to download free art worksheets that you can print to allow kids to explore art at home!
Step outside your comfort zone.
Go outside your comfort zone. Try a new medium, explore new ideas, or a experiment with a new style to try and force yourself outside your comfort zone. You will learn new things and supercharge your creativity. You can’t learn and grow by sticking to what you know. Don’t be afraid, just do it. I am starting up a podcast but I am terrified of talking and especially afraid of interviewing people and talking to actual humans. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t do it. Because it makes me TERRIFIED, I am pursuing starting up and hosting a podcast! It was the first hint as to what I MUST explore next. So the next time you feel uncomfortable, terrified, or afraid, DO THAT THING. TRY THAT new blog post style, new craft, new art medium. Sing a song or dance. Do whatever it is to make you get outside your comfort zone to FUEL your creativity with new possibilities.
Brainstorm like a Hurricane
Brainstorm like a hurricane! Let your ideas flow freely without limit. We are always self-doubting, self-limiting, or self-editing. This is done without even giving true thought to it. To overcome this natural instinct, you need to brainstorm like a hurricane and record all ideas without limit.
Ideas can be recorded in a number of ways:
–Brainstorm -Mind Map all ideas that come and record them on paper
–Audio Record -For some people it is easier to talk out all your ideas as they come. Use your favorite device to voice record your ideas and you can then listen to them any time.
–Stream of Consciousness Writing -Write down any thought or word that comes into your mind as it comes, without judgment. Record EVERYTHING. That way you can sift through and evaluate your thoughts later.
–Journal -Write a journal with all the thoughts and ideas that come to your mind.
–Sketchbook -Draw any visuals that you render in your mind as quick, few-second sketches. Fill the page without limits and then glean from it later.
Go on a walk.
Go on a walk to get ideas! A lot of the time when I am walking, my ideas suddenly appear. Go on a walk, get outside and wake up your body and mind with the movement and fresh air. You will be able to focus on the moment and remove distractions. Don’t look at your phone. Simply leave your home and start walking. The ideas won’t come right away… but as you move, live in the moment, and breath the fresh air, the ideas will flow and come to you. They might even hit you like a runaway train. Be prepared for this with your voice recorder or notepad.
Creativity Challenges & Finish the Pictures
Next, let’s talk creativity challenges and finish the picture activities to help encourage your students to be creative. I love to create worksheets that have the same prompt or part of a picture repeated across the paper. You can draw series of “X”s or squares or circles or other shapes in grids on a paper and for each they have to use that symbol as a starting point and then turn each one into something. You can challenge them to think outside the box this way. For older students, encourage them to draw in detail and to add colour or value to their work. You can also have finish the picture resources! I have created a series of Finish the Pictures worksheets, even ones that come in seasonal or holiday themes. With these, students are given part of a picture and it is their job to use their creativity and imagination to complete the image! They can even complete it in unexpected ways! I love to leave the medium open-ended for students to allow them the opportunity to have choice and to experiment. After all, how do we get to know mediums if we don’t have the opportunity to play with it? You can find both my Creativity Challenges and Finish the Picture resources in my TeachersPayTeachers store, simple search Ms Artastic on TpT or find the link in my blog.
Unusual Sketchbook Prompts
You can also give unusual sketchbook prompts as a means to encourage your students to be creative and imaginative. After all, creating art is all about being a creative thinker: someone who is experimenting and exploring their imagination and the vast land in which impossibilities exist. I love giving prompts that are completely random such as “Draw a banana in space” or draw “the attack of the giant hamburger”. Make it fun and random and try to include student interests to really grasp their attention and get them excited about the opportunity for creative thinking. You can find my sketchbook prompts or task cards that are already pre-made for you in the Sketchbook section of both my TpT store and the Artastic Collective with your membership.
Thank you for reading my blog post! I am grateful that you did and I appreciate you having took the time to read to the end. Thank you so much. Please write any questions you have in the comments section of this post.
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Kathleen McGiveron (Ms Artastic)
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