It turns out to be very difficult to teach an entire class to have unique projects and embrace the creativity that we all can develop. It seems easy enough, but it certainly is not. Too little guidance and constraints on the class will cause so much more trouble than a well planned project. I learned this the hard way.
So here is my list of things to consider or teach in the first year of Innovative Arts to that end. The first year is now making creative cardboard projects with moving jaws. (This coming week I will be making the resource to share).
- brainstorming potential projects
- balancing constraints and criteria with open-ended freedom
- choosing an idea that isn’t too easy or hard
- finding the right outlines to base their projects upon
- making them substantial (nervous students seem to try to make smaller projects, not realizing that smaller is more difficult than larger)
- using cardboard effectively
- cutting cardboard carefully
- attaching drilled popsicle sticks and a skewer pin, to make the jaw work
- drilling that popsicle stick
- restarting as needed
- construction paper or paint to neatly finish the project
- what a ‘neatly finished project’ entails
- how rushing and carelessness contrasts with careful work
- extending the project with 3d prints or springs
- adjusting and modifying, on the fly, the many interpretations and creative takes that come from this project.
In the end, it’s been a bit of a struggle. Add to this the idea that some kids are gone and missing instruction, distracted, misinterpreting, or trying to shirk the work.
But if it were easy, everyone would do it.