At school I carry around a handbag filled
with glue sticks, scissors, coloured paper squares and pencils.
As each year begins I tell students that it is mandatory to have
these supplies but invariably there is a shortage. If I were to
tell you that I am a primary school teacher you might not be surprised
to know that I promote cutting, pasting and colouring but in fact
I work with, amongst other levels, Year 12 students. Recently, as
my Year 12's sat making colourful paper hats to put goals behind
we chuckled about what the Minister of Education might think if
she wandered into our room. Then the Principal appeared, and being
accustomed to my ideas about creativity did not flinch. He sat asking
students what they were doing and was intrigued to see that different
hats represented different life goals.
I use magazines, newspapers and coloured
paper to kick start all sorts of activities all the time. For example,
tudents make a collage of headlines from a newspaper, filling a
double page and then randomly select one headline and write a the
news report that might have gone with it. We use lines from magazines
to write our last message to the world, colour in characters and
then write all we know about this particular person. We trace our
hands to use as planners for essay writing - "thumb introduction
- little finger conclusion - three main paragraphs" I tell
them, my hand spread in the air.
The possibilities are endless and streams
of words follow. Students who think that they have nothing to say
suddenly find a way to begin. I tell them that it is like magic
and they invariably agree.
Therapy is an intriguing site which supports my view. I will
make use of this site when looking for mandalas, but I also use
quality images of dragons, dinasaurs, small villages etc. to kick
start some writing. If anyone out there feels like sending me intricate
coloring in images my students and I will be ever so grateful. You
can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Year 12 students are keeping Visual
Journals to record their entire year's work. Shortly we will begin
creating suitcases, filled with all sorts of personal flotsam and
jetsam that will promote personal narrative writing.
Being creative extends to brightening
dark corners of your world. Stephanie
Hansen really has the magic touch when it comes to filling rooms
with colour. Visit her studio
to see the diversity of creatively inspired art that she has on
display and then buy some paint pots and begin to colour your own
1. Go to the Visual
Journal Lounge at Soul Food and have a look at some of the really
exciting things people do with cutting, pasting and colouring.
2. Try one of Soul
Food's creative projects. Do search through the site because
there are all sorts of things tucked in rooms within the cafe.
3. Try the Dragon
Colourings and write a story that features one of the dragons.