By Isabella S., Austin C., Bowyn D., and Adele B. | Meadowridge School, Grade 5
Creativity is an important skill in life. It’s the lifeline helping kids stay motivated to learn. Kids like me want more creativity in their learning. We chose creativity for our exhibition project–a research project directed by the students– because we think it’s important to be creative!
Through Exhibition, we’ve done a lot of research on three main points:
- What happens in the brain when we’re being creative, along with the parts of the brain used.
- How our creativity changes and decreases as we age.
- The different perspectives people have on creativity.
For the first point, we learned that the main parts of the brain involved in creativity are the Frontal Lobe, the Occipital Cortex, and the Precuneus Cortex. They're all connected by neurons that help the parts of the brain communicate with each other, and the messages are sped up by a fat called lymph. Furthermore, There are two types of creativity. Active and passive. If you can believe it, passive imagination is dreaming and remembering! Who knew that thinking of the past as creativity? Active imagination is when you change your perception of what you see and create something new.
We also learned about why we start to lose creativity with maturity. Our minds don’t use it as much and we grow. Our brains become obsessed with our status and how people view us–our reputation– which often means we suppress or hide our original ideas and thoughts. Because creativity is like a puppy. You need to exercise it and play with it in order to keep it strong. Creativity can be regained though, by taking risks and having new experiences.
Lastly, we’ve been to many interviews, and each time, we got a different definition. Michael Ling, a professor from SFU, told us his definition:
“Creativity is bringing something new into the world that wasn't there before.” Michael Ling, SFU Professor
Paul Bwengye said that creativity could be anything your brain creates. It could be a thought, a question, anything.
We read an article called “Creativity Is Not Enough.” Harvard Business Review.” It said that creativity is awful for the community. It said that creativity had been known to make people, especially children, reckless and irresponsible. In the article, creativity is said to unfocus you from your work, using one of the creativity networks, the Salience network. While parts of that might be true, the pros creativity gives us outweighs the cons.
As we pursued our research, we looked at different grades and what they do for creativity.
For example, in JK, one of my group members and I took some notes on how they learned. They were making animals out of cardboard and recycled plastic! They were harnessing their creativity and making something new, while learning!
In Kindergarten, I saw lots of kids playing and doing what ever they wanted if they were done with their work. Most of the kids came up with a zoo design and started building when they were wild. They let out all their ideas with pause and built things with no negotiation. I saw one girl playing by herself and she said that she was making a rabbit hole for rabbits to hide in. There were lot’s of paintings and one girl told me that she used the color wheel red and yellow to make orange and those three are the colors of the sun. There was no stain in their creativity.
In Grade One, I saw kids play with magnetic tiles, they were building a castle and space-ships. There were a few kids making a house for a stuffed animal. Two kids were reading a comic book, and another person was pretending to make their own recipe. They were having their morning choice time.
In Grade Two, however, I remember the only time we had solid ‘free time’ was freetime friday. We got the last block every Friday to play. This was a change I now realize was very drastic. From playing all day five days a week in Grade One to squeezing almost all the play out of learning and putting it all together in one 45 minute play session. We did get to have fun experiments and play in learning, but we never got to be the most creative we could be.
In Grade Three, we got some fun things once in a while, like making projects and getting stickers by estimating from the estimation jar, but freetime Friday was gone! There were no toys in grade three.
In Grade Four, we began using computers and learning how to type . The school curriculum started getting harder. We started writing long paragraphs and doing research. The toys were still, obviously, not there. The only play we got was during recesses and rare experiential learning.
In Grade Five, present time, there are board games! Blocks! Coloring supplies! So many fun things to do! Once we elected our student council, we started having freetime Friday again! Except, now we were overloaded with so much work we didn’t have time.
Over the 7 years, Junior Kindergarten to Grade Five, the creativity has shrunk from making paintings and cardboard crafts to the sometimes freetime Friday.
Now, don’t let go of your creativity! We suggest you be a risk-taker and try new ways to be creative! Have fun with it!