Creativity ideas for classes – An #ELTchat summary (17/6/15)

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Creativity ideas for classes – An #ELTchat summary (17/6/15)

This summary was written by James Taylor (@theteacherjames).


The chat topic was inspired by moderator Marisa’s webinar for the British Council called “Creating Creative Teachers” (watch it here). Marisa kicked the chat off with the obvious question:

Marisa_C So what would say makes a practice activity creative?  #ELTchat

and some discussion followed in defining creativity in this context:

naomishema FUN can be one parameter #ELTchat
Marisa_C Fun is not a parameter but I think it’s one of those ingredients you cannot do without!  #ELTchat
Marisa_C Although humour in itself is a creative expression of language, isnt it #ELTchat
naomishema Another is that Ss r practicing the same skill but they don’t feel they are repeating themselves because the activity is different #ELTchat
naomishema RT @Marisa_C Although humour in itself is a creative expression of language, isnt it #ELTchat
Marisa_C @naomishema so repetition without regurgitation maybe?  #ELTchat
naomishema RT @Marisa_C @naomishema so repetition without regurgitation maybe? YES! #ELTchat
Marisa_C I found that a good way to judge if an activity was creative was whether it had ONE correct answer only  #ELTchat
SueAnnan Trying something new #eltchat
naomishema I’m not sure that I completely agree with that one, @Marisa_C  #ELTchat
Marisa_C Like for example a substitution drill – one correct answer  #ELTchat
Marisa_C but a situational prompt is more creative – more generative – can produce multiple answers #ELTchat
naomishema You can practice grammar creatively and still have only one answer. Creative doesn’t imply higher order thinking skills. #ELTchat
Marisa_C I think it does – it does involve higher order thinking skills – one of the definitions i’m afraid  #ELTchat
Marisa_C @FabianaLCasella yes they can – it will be short bursts of talk and perhaps not in context (a disadvantage) but yes #ELTchat
Marisa_C I think that many holistic activities are creative – e,g, projects, creative narratives – making a video play etc  #ELTchat
Erhan_Gulsen Collaborative speaking and writing practices let the SS hone their creative skills, I think. They should feel they are producing.  #ELTchat
Marisa_C but it’s more difficult to find creative stuff for your more controlled stages  #ELTchat
Marisa_C @Erhan_Gulsen As long as it’s a challenging task and not just a simple activity e..g. “find someone who….”  #ELTchat
naomishema I was coming at the Q from  POV of a special ed T who needs 3 find 10 diff. ways 2 practice diff. btwn much/many before ss get it. #ELTchat
Erhan_Gulsen And, speaking and writing ostensibly require higher order thinking skills #ELTchat

The chat then moved onto some practical activities:

Marisa_C I liked this activity – T dictates a part of a story and pauses asking Ss to complete part of it – S read each other’s stories  #ELTchat
Marisa_C More controlled than say ‘take these photos – combine them and make up a story” #ELTchat
Marisa_C i wanted to share the book which just came out with you all – its choc-a-bloc . with new ideas  #ELTchat
Marisa_C The chapter I wrote in this book makes a reference to Bloom and some of the things I mentioned are explained in more detail there  #ELTchat
naomishema we have 2 teach these skills explicitly while teaching Lit in English. George Elliott 4 comparing” Somerset Maugham 4 Inferences… #ELTchat
Marisa_C An activity `I mentioned for teachers – now for learners – it’s called ‘predicaments’ but you can also call it ‘accusations’   #ELTchat
Marisa_C e.g. ‘you were seen sticking knives & forks in your front lawn at midnight” Why?  Best excuse wins  #ELTchat
Marisa_C or if u want to use it to practise the past continuous ‘ why were you cleaning your car with a toothbrush?”  #ELTchat

Some issues with uncooperative students were discussed…

naomishema What do YOU do with the ones who won’t play along? Imaginative activities raise some people’s hackles #ELTchat
Marisa_C Do you mean it’s just this kind of activity they would not participate in or just generally all kinds of productive activs? #ELTchat
Marisa_C I would discuss the aims of the activity and negotiate their participation probably – though with careful prep I must confess… #ELTchat
Marisa_C … that I have never had to do something like that  #ELTchat
naomishema the flights of fantasy kind – toothbrushes & forks in gardens. Some ss won’t go with such things. speaking from experience. #ELTchat
naomishema some are awesome at it!  #ELTchat
Marisa_C get them to write their own predicaments then – fine if they pooh pooh these ones too – make their own  #ELTchat

…before the chat ended with some more activity ideas:

Marisa_C i like to play scenes from films without sound and get them to imagine the dialog  #ELTchat
Marisa_C go with your instinct – try out things but chuck out what doesn’t work  #ELTchat
naomishema creating film dialog is huge hit with my ss – of course we don’t have to worry about turning off the sound, LOL! #ELTchat
Marisa_C I think it’s true that we all have our fave activities – these chats are about putting more things on our menu IF WE LIKE THEM  #ELTchat
Marisa_C I remember one activity that ALL my ss adore – it’s collaborative writing – you can do it with stories or with fairy tales #ELTchat
Marisa_C Everyone begins a story with a character or two – choice of setting, country, clothes, whatever then they begin to write  #ELTchat
Marisa_C papers change hands after every 3 mins or so  #ELTchat
Marisa_C Ss read what other people wrote and continue for a bit – have never seen such intense curiosity to peer read/evaluate!!!  #ELTchat
naomishema Sometimes doing adlibs first can get the creative juices going – the results are so hilarious that it’s inspiring #ELTchat

The full transcript of the chat can be found here.