Presentation given at the International House Barcelona ELT conference on Saturday 9 th February
Presentation given at the International House Barcelona ELT conference on Saturday 9 th February
Let's start with some activities to inspire creativity
I only saw six people when I first did this...congratulations to any of you who saw more than this
Stare at the X and you'll start to see circles
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change
Now, let's look at four questions that need to be answered creatively. Here's the first one...
Here's number 2...
And number 4...
How did you do?
This is what the questions are trying to find out...this is a management training exercise designed to get managers thinking creatively
Now let's look at Creativity and ELT
Think about you and your teaching and your learners. How creative is your classroom? What are the signs of a creative classroom?
Do you know any 'Dukes of Habit' teachers or learners? What are the signs that a learner or teacher is a Duke of Habit?
Do you have any other ideas?
SCAMPER is an acronym that is useful to apply to situations requiring creative thought
For instance, try applying SCAMPER to an ELT coursebook. Is there anything missing from this from an ELT point of view ? (Personalisation)
Now let's look at creative pedagogy...
The idea comes from Andrei Aleinikov...
It's all about putting a focus on creativity in the classroom, bringing this to the forefront of what you do as a teacher
Most importanltly, the role of the learner changes in a creative classroom
There are 4 components of creative pedagogy...
Now, Id' like to look at some examples from my own classroom where I've tried to add technology to the mix.
The first involves a project which has been used in ELT for many years. It involves asking the learners to work in groups and design an island, which is then used as the setting for subsequent classroom activities.
There are lots of activities that you can do with the island. These are some sources of information that I know of that can be used.
In my classroom oif teenagers (13-14 year-olds), I asked them to work in groups and decide on the shape of their island. Then I asked them to add natural features (lakes, mountains, forests, etc) and then man-made features (cities, etc). I then scanned their drawings and traced over them on the IWB. Doing this allowed me to manipulate the islands very easily – I can make them bigger or smaller, duplicate elements of thei island (trees, mountains, etc).
I placed the four student created islands together on a map and added an island that I created, which is the one I use for the students' adventures – some of the classroom activities take place on this mysterious islands. This way, I can add a narrative element to different activities I do in class.
One of the first activities I asked the learners to do was to write descriptions of the islands and some of the places on the islands. These became part of a growing 'Tourist Guide' to the islands.
One of the activities I've recently done with my learners as part of the island project is to play a game called 'Werewolves of Miller's Hollow' – this is absed on a popular game called 'Mafia', which originated in a Psychology classroom at a university in Russia during the 1980's
This is the goal of the game. On eof the interesting things about the game is that it is scaleable – you can play with as few as 5 players and as many as 30. It's also adaptable to different levels and ages.
The game has 2 different turns. Each night, the werewolves claim another victim. During the day, the villagers gather and after finding out who died, they talk about what they heard, etc. and try to figure out who the werewolves are. One of the most important things about the game is the role of the storyteller (narrator), a role that should be taken (at least at first) by the teacher. It's your job to animate the villagers into talking. As this is a fluency activity, I suggest not spending too much attention on errors, although it's useful to tke note of any language your learners produce thast could be improved – the errors can be dealt with after you've played the game.
The best way of understanding how this might work in the classroom is to play the game, so if it's alright with you, that's what I'd like to do now.
The game continues. Some ideas for improving on the game in the classroom may be: asking the learners to write role-cards for their characters (who they are, what they do, where they live, etc.) You could also get them to write rumours (on a grafitti wall, etc.)
Now, I'd like to turn to a different kind of activitiy, which exploits a computer game called Droppy. Droppy is an online game that has ten short stages, each of which involve solving a puzzle to help Droppy (the character) solve a problem How I play this in class, using the IWB, is by first showing the learners a number of the screenshot images taken from the inital stages of the game. I tell the learners I am going to show them 5 images and ask them just to observe and remember as much about each image as they can. After they have done this, then they have to write (and/or draw, as one of my students did) what they can remember of each image. They can then compare these notes with a partner. Then I ask a volunteer to tell me what they remember of the first image. I use 'Graham Euros' in this class to motivate the learners, and so I give the learner who first volunteers some of these when they have finished. Then I ask if anyone can improve on this initial description. Rather than add information, I ask the learner to give a 'better' description – this way they have to say as much as they can about the image. I'll then ask if anyone else can improve on this, and so it continues. This way, the learners are encouraged to really work hard and to say as best as they can, with as much desciptive language as possible. I have seen my teenage learners during this activity really work very hard trying to speak at the very limits of their ability. Let's try the activity out so you cn see how it works.
Here's image 1
Here's image number 2
Image number 3
Image number 4
Image number 5
Now, turn to the people next to you and describe as best you can the 5 images Afterwards, I'll ask one of you to describe them as best as you can to me.
The second stage in the activity is to show another five images, showing the solution to each of the five stages previously shown. I then ask the learners to tell me what has happened, from the first image to the last one. This gets the learners using different language and also shows them the solution to each stage of the game. Let's have a look at these now, and you can tell me what's happened in each of the stages.
Possible answer: Droppy has made a hat from the cactus to protect him from the sun
Possible answer: Droppy has moved the rubbish, turned on the streetlight and called a cab
Possible answer: Droppy has fixed the antenna and is watching TV
Possible answer: Droppy has caught a fish
Possible answer: Droppy has stolen the golden statue Finally, I would then let the learners play the actual game, which would not take much time now that they have seen how each stage can be solved. Youy can either ask the learners to take turns to play each stage and get the others to help them by giving advice, or yu can play the game and ask the learners to tell you what to do. Setting a time limit (1 minute) to finish each stage is usually a good idea. If the student doesn't finish, then go to another stage and then return to the stage later with a different student volunteering.
Just if we have time, let's look at some cretive writing prompts, which can help learners get started with writing stories, etc.
Thanks for your attention – please let me know if you try out any of these activities or if you have any comments ro questions about anything in the presentation.
Here are the references to the books I mentioned in the presentation, and the image I used here too.
How many people do you see?
How many people do you see? There are nine people in this picture. If you find 6, you have an ordinary power of observation. Find 7, you have an above average power of observation. Find 8, you are very observant. Congratulate yourself. Find 9, you are extremely observant. You are very intuitive and creative Michale Michalko http://creativethinking.net/DE16_NineFaces.htm
Circles or rectangles?If you look at the X in the middle of the door and think circles instead of rectangles, circles will pop up out of nowhere.Change the way you look at things,and the things you look at change. Michale Michalko http://creativethinking.net/DE19_CirclesOnADoor.htm
3) The King of the Jungle is holding a meeting for all of the animals.One of them is not there. Which one?
4) You are standing on the bank of analligator infested river and have to get to the other side. What do you do?
Answers1) Open the fridge, put the giraffe inside, andthen close the fridge.2) Open the fridge, remove the giraffe, put theelephant inside, and close the fridge.3) The elephant. The elephant is in the fridge.4) You swim across the river because all thealligators are attending the meeting.Michale Michalko http://creativethinking.net/DE21_CreativeMgmtChallenge.htm
This is what the questions are trying to find out:#1 checks to see if you try to make simple thingscomplicated and make assumptions about problems.Nobody said that the fridge was not big enough to puta giraffe inside#2 tests your ability to consider previous actions.Who says that they are four separate questions?#3 simply tests your memory.#4 checks to see how quickly you learn. Michael Michalko http://creativethinking.net/DE21_CreativeMgmtChallenge.htm
Dukes of Habit......always do things the same way...must have everything in its place...are at a loss if anything violatestheir routinesWhat does a Duke of HabitEnglish teacher / learner do? Michael Michaelko, Thinkertoys, 2006
If you dont want to bea Duke of Habit teacher / learner...- Take a risk- Try something different- Dont rigidly follow a course-book- …? Michael Michaelko, Thinkertoys, 2006
ScamperSubstitute somethingCombine it with something elseAdapt something to itModify or Magnify itPut it to some other useEliminate somethingReverse or rearrange it Michael Michaelko, Thinkertoys, 2006
Scamper....ELT COURSEBOOK?Substitute somethingCombine it with something elseAdapt something to itModify or Magnify itPut it to some other useEliminate somethingReverse or rearrange it
Creative pedagogy Introduced by Andrei Aleinikov, educator & author, in1989Main idea: if teachers transform their class-rooms into creative learning environmentsthis will better promote lifelong learning
What is creative pedagogy?Helping learners how to learn creativelyTransforming the classroom into a creativelearning environmentAllowing learners to innovate, to createTaking risks, thinking imaginatively
Role of the learnerRather than object of influence, the learnersstatus is raised to one of creative personTeacher helps learners develop characteristicssuch as self-motivation, confidence, curiosityand flexibilityThe classroom needs to be a flexible learningenvironment
4 components of creative pedagogy1) Fluency. Generating new ideas2) Flexibility. Shifting perspectives3) Originality. Doing something new4) Elaboration. Building on existing ideas
Creative pedagogy,language learning and technology
Procedure 1) learners create islands in groups 2) scan copies of learners’ drawings 3) trace over the scanned drawings using IWB software
Werewolves of Miller’s HollowGoal of the game:For the villagers:eliminate the werewolvesFor the werewolves:eat the villagers
Werewolves of Miller’s HollowEach night, one villager is devoured by the werewolvesDuring the day they try to hide their identities to avoid being hanged.Each morning the surviving villagers come together and try to discover who the werewolves are.
Werewolves of Miller’s HollowIt’s night and the entire village is sleeping.All players close your eyesThe werewolves wake up,Recognise each other andchoose a new victim
Werewolves of Miller’s HollowIt’s morning and the village wakes upAll players open your eyesThe Narrator points out anyvictims the werewolves ateduring the night
Michael Michaelko, Thinkertoys, 2006 References http://creativethinking.net Graham Stanley, Language Learning withTechnology,CUP, 2013 http://languagelearningtechnology.com/ Diane Phillips, Sarah Burwood & Helen Dunford Projects with Young Learners OUP, 1999 Matt Wicks, Imaginative Projects CUP, 2000 Kyle Mawer & Graham Stanley, Digital Play, Delta, 2011http://www.flickr.com/photos/pilottagev http://www.deltapublishing.co.uk/