Feeling the midyear slump, and seeking some creative ideas to engage your out-of-school time crew? January is International Creativity Month, and there’s no better time to introduce creative thinkers and other innovators. Armed with an array of podcasts focusing on artists and other inventive folks, your program participants can celebrate creativity as they walk, listen, and learn their way through the month!
When you hear the word creativity, it’s likely the first thing you think of is art, and you’re not the only one! Take a cue from one of our other afterschool adopters, and build a unit around artists.
First, take some time to introduce your program participants to surrealism, just one of many distinctive artistic styles, and then have a listen to one (or both!) of these podcasts about artists practicing in that style.
- Rene Magritte (5-#84, Complete-#31)
- Salvador Dali (5-#85, Complete-#32)
See if your crew can identify any similarities between these artists, and as a follow-up, engage in some artistic games to unlock their creativity. Continue by sharing examples of work by other surrealists, then encourage your program participants to create some art of their own by incorporating activities inspired by the work of other artists.
. . . or Other Innovators!
Creativity extends beyond artistic pursuits; in fact, creative thinking has led to the development of many inven-tive solu-tions . . . or inventions! Have a listen to podcasts about these interesting inventors and other innovators. It might be fun to introduce one inventor a day for a week, and build from there!
- Henry Ford (4-#89, Complete-#112)
- Thomas Edison (5-#16, STEM-#9, Complete-#162)
- Albert Einstein (5-#17, STEM-#10, Complete-#163)
- Johannes Gutenberg (5-#23, Complete-#51)
- Galileo Galilei (5-#24, STEM-#5, Complete-#165)
Inspired by the inventions of these famous figures, you may want to propose an “invention convention” and see what creative solutions your program participants can craft! A ready-made guide includes an assortment of activities, and it can assist you in your efforts.
Or, if you are limited on time, narrow your focus and cover multiple bases! Explore the life of Leonardo da Vinci (5-#26, STEM-#4). The ultimate “Renaissance man,” da Vinci had achievements in both art and invention. Afterwards, let your crew channel their inner da Vinci. Incorporate a hands-on project, and watch what happens!
Add in Some Additional Information!
The Walking Classroom provides a wealth of podcasts to get you started, but you determine the path from there! It’s easy to explore a bit more with a bevy of books that build on biographical information. Check one out and share it with your program participants.
After exploring a number of innovative individuals, you might want to take some time to assess your crew’s newfound knowledge. See if they can identify the artists and innovators about whom they’ve learned. A quick Who Am I? activity is always a good choice, and it’s sure to keep them engaged! If you are looking for even more ways to celebrate International Creativity Month, introduce an additional activity or two and continue the fun!