It is important to be clear about your expectations. It can be stressful for students if they are unsure what to do. It’s like going on a journey, but not knowing where you are or where you are going.
But, every so often, it pays to allow students room to ramble. As J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost.” And, neither are students who are given open-ended outcomes. When students are given the freedom to think, imagine, explore, and really challenge themselves – without negative consequences – amazing things can happen.
I assigned a vocabulary activity recently. It was simple stuff – students had to show that they knew and understood new vocabulary words by taking a word from our Word Wall, writing a definition, using the word in a sentence, and then illustrating the idea in a visually “creative” way. When students asked me what I meant by creative, I shrugged and told them to surprise me.
And surprise me they did. Here are some examples of their work:
The freedom may be a little frightening for some. You’ll probably get questions like “Is this what you want?” or “Am I doing this right?” Just smile and assure the students that there are no negative consequences for their creativity and watch what awesomeness happens.
2 thoughts on “Give Your Students More Creative Freedom”
I do this, too! It is my favorite thing to do each Unit in my History classes. My kids love it because of the freedom they get. And I just LOVE what they turn in to me!
I do this, too! My students love this and the freedom if allows them to have. I love what they turn in to me as finished products.