Wednesday, February 08, 2012

scrambling, yielding and constraint...

I was scrambling this morning, trying to come up with something for my first, second and third grade students to do in wood shop so that I can avoid the inevitable call for "Creative Day". I had planned to have my students make a totem pole for their study of American Indians, but they have not as yet chosen their own totem animals and done the sketching required, so they are not ready for that.

Creative day in the CSS woodshop... doll beds, tops and a helicopter
Their favorite thing in wood shop is to have a "creative day" in which they get to do whatever they want. That means I have to supply parts of all sizes and watch over their safety as they do things on their own. It is the most exciting time for them, as they see their own ideas tested. It is valuable for that reason alone. But for me, creative day is a time of stress. Each child will have unique requests to contend with. And some requests will have to be answered, "no."

In order to gain some control over today's creative events, I planned to have one serious design constraint. Whatever is made must fit within a box, the size one that I was free to determine. That meant no elaborate furniture. Creativity after all, is made more meaningful by constraint. In addition to student designed projects, I allowed each student to make two tops, one small and one large. That also helped me to focus their energies on smaller projects. Among student projects besides tops, were a cane, a small shelf, a tank, a couple helicopters, a Star-Wars "walker" and doll beds.

The photo at the top is of boxes that I am using to explore the unconscious as I explained in yesterday's post.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Creative Day sounds like it could be terrifying for you.

Great ideas for the box lids, too.

Mario