Saturday, November 15, 2008

Creativity in the Classroom

Students in my classroom are all part of a literature circle group. Groups are formed because the students are all reading the same novel, or the books they are reading are from the same series or perhaps they share a favorite author.

Literature circle groups come with some responsibilities. Students are required to complete at least one novel each month and they must respond to their reading each week. Time is given during the week for literature circle groups to get together to discuss the books they're reading or just to do some shared reading. The coveted day, however, comes at the end of the week.

On Fridays, student share their literature circle novel responses with the class. This began for me as an exercise to determine who was reading their book and who was not. A list of mundane ways for students to respond were provided for the students, and none of the assignments required a whole lot of creativity. In my original plan, students shared their responses with their group only.

Something happened however. Students began asking me if they could go outside the box and perhaps do something a little different than the choices provided. Of course, I agreed. The projects that began arriving at school on Fridays became increasingly more creative. It wasn't enough for these students to share their projects with their groups. We began sharing them as a class.

I was so impressed by some of the projects, that I began taking pictures of them. The collection grew and suddenly I realized...these projects are too special to keep to ourselves. We decided to share them with the world.

Below are some examples of projects the students have created. The one thing I didn't mention is that these projects are only worth ten points. Please remember that when you look at the projects. You decide what is motivating the students!

A pair of shoes: Two students reading the same book split a pair of shoes and each decorated one of them with story elements from the book.

A response to Superfudge: This student made a BUCKET of dirt (the dessert) to share with the class. The summary of the book she was reading was taped to the bucket and the characters' names were on sticks in the dessert.

This student created these pages on Microsoft Publisher. He changed them to jpg files so we could put them on the site.

This is just a small sampling of the projects students have created. To see more, please go to our blog by clicking on the link below:
Literature Circle Blog

If you're impressed, please leave a comment for the kids. They love them!


  1. Students, your projects are awesome. I plan to show them to my students. I know they will be asking their teachers if they can do similar projects. Thanks for making me smile!

    Mrs. Thomson, Naperville, IL

  2. Very impressive! Thanks for illustrating what the creating mind is all about - especially when given room to flourish.