Taking a creative approach by Alison Davies
21st March 2017
Alison Davies is an author of several fiction and non-fiction books, a professional storyteller and a creative practitioner. She runs workshops at universities throughout the UK, showing academics, students and early years practitioners how stories can be used as tools for teaching and learning. Alison likes to engage her audience through a creative use of language and the narrative structure. We welcome Alison to the Childcare Expo community. Here is her first blog…
We all get stuck in a rut, particularly when it comes to the way we interact and communicate new ideas. That’s not to say that we don’t explain concepts in an understandable and effective way, but if we want to help youngsters develop and engage with us and the world around them, then we sometimes need to shake things up.
You can do this by taking a step back from what you’re doing, and implementing a more inventive approach. Think about the creative tools you have at your fingertips and set yourself a challenge by following these easy steps.
Choose something you normally deliver, a part of your usual repertoire. This could be an activity, a story, a rhyme etc On a blank sheet of paper write down what you would say and do, in your own words.
Put the paper to one side and spend five minutes doing something else. I usually find this is the ideal time to brew a cup of coffee and catch up with what’s going on in the world.
Return to your original paper and read it over. Then take a new sheet of paper and consider the same activity/story/rhyme and think about how you might deliver it an entirely different way. In other words describe what you do, but don’t use the same type of language as you did in your first effort. This forces you to look at it with fresh eyes.
Take a completely different approach, for example if it’s a story, draw a picture that sums it up. If you’ve outlined an activity in bullet points, imagine creating a poster to sell the idea behind the activity. By allowing yourself to do something completely different, you’re engaging with your creative mind and looking at it from another perspective.
When you’ve finished look at both sheets of paper. The first is how you would normally deliver this activity. You know it works and it’s effective. The second is a more creative version from an entirely different perspective.
Finally take a third sheet of paper and take bits from both of the other sheets and see if you can integrate them. For example, perhaps your creative poster sparked an idea for a game, or a new slant on a story or rhyme. Take the bits that work from each paper and slot them together until you have something new, but based on your original delivery.
The end result should be something exciting, engaging and altogether different that you can develop to suit your needs in the classroom!
Alison is on hand to offer support in the form of workshops and creative training sessions. Feel free to get in touch with her today!