Teachers everywhere are complaining of a decline in children’s imaginations. Our students spend hours sitting in front of screens and play video games where everything is created for them. It’s no wonder children can’t write a story if we ask them. An imagination needs to be exercised! Here are some ways you can promote imagination and creativity in elementary school.
1. Read many types of stories often and early
Some of the best ways to get students’ imaginations churning is to read them stories. Read them many different types of stories from many different genres. Read fantasy, realistic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, etc…
2. Read a story as a class, but don’t finish it
Give your students a chance to write an ending to a story. They may write the predictable ending that actually happens in the book, or they may write something completely different.
3. Read a story as a class and have students write alternative endings
After you read an entire story, ask your students to think of a different ending. You can have young students draw alternative endings to a story.
4. Give students plenty of silent time to think and write
Distraction is the enemy of creativity. Providing quiet, down time is a great chance to get students’ imaginations working. Try limiting as many distractions from your classroom as possible.
5. Give students time to share
Don’t worry about students copying each other’s ideas! Hearing classmates’ ideas can help inspire creativity.
6. Get outside
Take your students outside and give them time to write, draw, or think. Being in nature can help students think creatively and inspire them!
Give students opportunities to be curious! If you are in the middle of a non-fiction unit, you can still promote imagination by allowing your students to investigate and learn more about various topics. You never know–a shark might show up in your student’s next writing.
Don’t forget to pin these ideas for later!