The idea for Createaching occured to me during an end of year lesson we did with all of our students last year (2017-18). During the course of a few prior years, I noticed how much our students enjoyed hands on creative projects. I am also an artist and love adding any kind of creativity to our literacy lessons. Our students, becoming more and more squirrely toward the end of the school year, would need an especially engaging unit. And their teacher would as well.
The Literacy Component
Another teacher and I collaborated on a literacy unit. We decided to use the short novel titled Seedfolks. In order to meet the needs of all students, the book was divided up and students were assigned one chapter to read. Some students were provided with summaries of chapters depending on reading ability. Students were expected to read their chapter (or chapter summary), create a visual of their choice and teach the chapter to the rest of the class.
The Creative Component
In my opinion, the best part of the unit was saved for last. Each student was provided with a fleece quilt square. Their assignment was to create a quilt square that represented a character from the book. Materials such as felt, glue, needles, and thread were provided. Since I had never attempted a project like this with a class before, I didn’t know what to expect. I was stunned by the effort and creativity the students demonstrated. The finished product is something truly special and now hangs in our classroom for future classes to enjoy.
I was so impressed by the quality of the student work, I immediately began planning for another literacy project for this year. Throughout the summer, I collected ideas from social media sites and added them to my own ideas. I came up with so many ideas, I decided that I didn’t want this to be something we only did at the end of the year. Createaching was created so that I would have the opportunity to share the creative and fun (hopefully) literacy lessons of this school year.