Elementary School and Learning Outcomes
Exploring Creativity in Depth™ for school children is a five-hour program that cycles through the creative process twice, the first cycle in the morning and the second in the afternoon. Teachers and parents are encouraged to participate in the program along with the students. The morning begins with warm-up activities that energize the body and stimulate the mind to engage with elements of line, shape, and colour. Participants choose an artwork in the Gallery and are guided through a visioning exercise that stimulates the imagination to engage with the imagery of the artwork. The participants go to the Studio, where they make oil pastel drawings based on that experience. On the cartridge paper, participants lay down a background colour, then draw a shape and fill it in with a second colour. They blend the two colours together to create new shades and textures. After a while they turn the paper over and write about the drawing on the back. In the Gallery, facilitators lead groups of five to seven students in the process of interpretation. Students describe how they made their drawings and share feelings, ideas and associations, and interpret the symbols and designs. The interpretation process includes improvising soundscapes, group dramatizing, and telling stories about the pictures. After lunch the second cycle of the creative process begins in the Gallery. The facilitators show samples of their own artwork and talk about them. The participants return to the Studio where they are led in a visioning exercise while looking at their morning pictures. They make a second drawing based on the experience of their own picture and write about it on the back. They return to the discussion groups to compare and contrast the two drawings. The interpretation process may again include improvised soundscapes, dramatizing, and story-telling. Before departure, the students, teachers, and parents fill out questionnaires.
Austin Clarkson’s, “My mind a beautiful thing” Imagination, Art, Creativity in Elementary Education, reports on the reflections of teachers and students to the Exploring Creativity in Depth™ program.
(Read the Clarkson Report)
The Exploring Creativity in Depth™ program supports the expectations of the Visual Arts strand of the Revised Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8 (2009):
• Creating and Presenting and Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing
• Fundamental Concepts in Elements of Design
• Principles of Design
• Critical/Analytic Process
The ECiD™ is based on a two-fold cycle through the creative process and thus supports the overall expectation to apply the cycle of the creative process in all grades. Students create two oil pastel drawings that communicate their thoughts and feelings. The facilitators introduce elements and principles of design while leading small group discussions of pictures in Gallery and the students’ own drawings. Students discuss how the expressive qualities of the elements and principles of design are used to affect the viewer in the pictures they look at in the gallery, in their own drawings and those of their classmates. Students learn vocabulary and terminology appropriate to their grade level. In particular they learn the difference between abstraction and realism, and the power of colours to express feelings.