Category Archives: Creative Process

DIZZY

Dizzy

Dizzy, a picture book biography, “is the story of one real cool cat who must have been born with a horn in his hands…” Dizzy Gillespie, born poor and often beat up by other kids, re-channeled his anger into playing the trumpet given to him by his music teacher. As he grew older, Dizzy refused to follow the rules of music. He clowned around, added notes to songs, played never-been-heard notes, and always puffed out his cheeks when playing his trumpet. Dizzy had created a new kind of music – BEBOP.

This story is written like a jazz song with LOUD and s t a c c a t o beats, short lines, long lines and more, so the reader can feel the rhythm as seen in the illustration below.

This book promotes individuality, inventor, creative person, risk-taker, unique, and following one’s heart.

TITLE: Dizzy

AUTHOR: Jonah Winter

ILLUSTRATOR: Sean Qualls

PUBLISHER: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2006

AGE GROUP: 6-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: individuality, inventor, creative person, risk-taker, unique, following one’s heart

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) What are you passionate about? Do you feel like you can’t live without it? If you couldn’t pursue your passion, what would you do instead?

2) How do you express yourself creatively?

3) Whether or not you play instrument, what instrument do you like the sound of the most? What instrument do you like the structure and shape of the most?

4)

Notice how the illustrator uses color and thick brush strokes to convey the energy and tone of Dizzy’s music. Paint how you feel when you are doing something you love and then paint how you feel when you are doing something you don’t like.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Jonah Winter, visit:

http://www.jonahwinter.com

To learn more about illustrator Sean Qualls, visit:

http://seanqualls.com

Creative Thinking Prompt: Paper Fish

Creative Thinking Prompt: Paper Fish

While thinking about a new story character, I surfed the web looking at images of paper fish. While creating fish from paper isn’t a new concept, I wanted to see what others had done and how that might inspire me.

I discovered Easy Peasy and Fun’s website and The Crafty Mom at YouTube. Using their easy tutorials, I made two fish creations.

A shark bookmark that looks like he is eating the corner of my book.

         

www.easypeasyandfun.com/shark-corner-bookmark

An accordion fish that looks like it moves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l0tT9PVadQ

Use the examples above to inspire your own unique fish creations. What types of fish can you create from paper and glue? Make your fish into storybook characters. Make a paper aquarium for your fish.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Building with Ice Cubes

Ice is slippery. Ice is wet. Ice melts. Then how can you build with ice?

Creative Thinking Prompt: Build a structure using ice cubes, using the creative thinking strategy SCAMPER. SCAMPER was developed by Bob Eberle based upon Alex Osborn’s creating thinking questions. Alex Osborn is the originator of brainstorming.

SCAMPER

Scamper is based upon seven creative thinking principles. Each principle views your idea in a different manner. By asking questions related to each principle, Scamper gets you thinking about which areas of your idea you can improve.

S = Substitute:  Remove some part and replace it with something else.

What else can I use instead of clear water to create ice cubes?

C = Combination:  Join or force together two or more elements of your subject to develop a solution.

What things can I combine together to make a better ice cube?

What can I use to stick the cubes together?

A = Adapt:  Change some part so that it works where before it didn’t work.

What might I do to change the structure of the ice cubes to make them not melt quickly?

M = Magnify or modify:  Consider the attributes of the subject and change them. Attributes include: size, shape, other dimensions, texture, color, position, etc.

How will smaller or larger ice cubes work within my structure?

P = Put to other uses:  Think about your subject – why it exists, what it is used for, what it’s supposed to do. Then think up new and unusual purposes.           

How else can I use an ice cube?

E = Eliminate:  Remove any or all elements of the subject.

What can I remove from my structure to make it stronger and last longer?

R = Rearrange or reverse:  Look at the subject from different perspectives. Turn it upside-down, inside-out. Make it go backwards, against the direction it was intended to go or be used. Similar to Reverse, modify the order of operations or any other hierarchy involved.

What would happen if I rearrange the ice cubes in my structure?

As I used SCAMPER more questions popped into my mind.

  • How would using pop, sugar water, jello, or millk affect the structure of an ice cube?
  • Would the different ingredients make the cube stick together easier? Would it melt less?
  • What if I let the cubes melt a little and then refreeze them – would my structure “stick” together?
  • How would small and large cubes help with building my structure?
  • Is there a better way to build an ice structure?
  • What if I froze a smaller cube inside a larger cube?
  • How can I make my structure colorful?

To make glow-in-the-dark cubes, visit: http://www.learnplayimagine.com/2012/02/glow-in-dark-water-beads.html

Think Deeper: Build an ice cube arch.

The Most Magnificent Thing

“The Most Magnificent Thing

One day a girl has a wonderful idea to make the most magnificent thing. She knows how it will look and how it will work. After she makes it, it doesn’t look or work how she imagined.

She tries again and again but it still won’t work. It isn’t magnificent.

Frustrated and angry, she quits. Her trusty helper tells her to go for a walk.

When they return, she sees all the things she created. Each one better than before. That gives her an idea…

This book promotes discovery, the creative process, and risk-taking.

TITLE: The Most Magnificent Thing

AUTHOR: Ashley Spires

ILLUSTRATOR: Ashley Spires

PUBLISHER: Kids Can Press, 2014

AGE GROUP: 6-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, the creative process, risk-taking

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick an invention that interests you. What might you change to make it better? What might you add or subtract from it? Can you substitute a different part? What else can the invention be used for?

2) What do you do when you are frustrated? Do you quit, give up? Do you push forward and try again? Do you try a new approach? Tell about a time that you wanted to quit but you didn’t.

 EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Ashley Spires, visit:

https://www.ashleyspires.com/index.html

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Can You Make With Bubble Gum?

Gum Sculpture by Maurizio Savini

12-16-16 Creative Thinking Prompt: What Can You Make With Bubble Gum?

Sculptures are made from a variety of materials – clay, wire, paper. But have you seen one made from bubble gum? Italian artist Maurizio Savini uses pink and white gum as his art medium because he sees it as part of his country’s culture.

Gum Sculpture by Maurizio Savini

No, he does not chew the gum. To keep his sculptures from disintegrating from the gum’s sugar, Savini applies a mixture of formaldehyde and antibiotics to preserve his work.

Creative Thinking Prompt: What can you make with gum? Brainstorm a list of things that you can use or make with bubble gum. Grab some gum. Work with it using your hands to get the feel of the gum and to understand its properties. Sketch out a simple design that you’d like to make. Now create! Remember your piece might not last long due to the gum’s sugar.

To view more of Maurizio Savini’s work, visit:

http://blog.keralites.net/2012/02/chewing-gum-art.html

To learn more about Maurizio Savini’s art, visit:

http://emmanuelfremingallery.com/project/maurizio-savini/

Creative Thinking Prompt: Napkin Folding Art

Creative Thinking Prompt: Napkin Folding Art

napkinartgriffinjoansallas

What can you create with a napkin? Folding artist Joan Sallas recreates history through his napkin folding art. His sculptures feature griffins, snakes, turkeys, turtles, horses and much more. Each sculpture design is based on his research about the banqueting tables of Renaissance Europe. A true creative, he craves the discovery of creating new folds.

To view Joan Sallas napkin art, watch Joan Sallas: Folded Beauty Masterpieces in Linen at Waddesdon:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlIS0UMhI6I

So as you set your dinner table, create some art and flair with napkin folding.

To learn more about Joan Sallas and his work, visit:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/12/431271509/unfolding-the-history-of-napkin-art

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/joan-sallas-napkin-folder_n_2625924.html

Creative Thinking Prompt: Pushing Creative Bounds

Creative Thinking Prompt: Pushing Creative Bounds

 christophniemanngorilla

©Christoph Niemann

Creative Christop Niemann pushes himself to become a better illustrator by stepping outside of his comfort zone. He picks a single object and looks at it, trying to envision how this object can become part of a larger image.

http://www.npr.org/2016/10/31/499807738/how-does-christoph-niemann-make-art-look-effortless-with-a-lot-of-work

His book Sunday Sketching is a result of his internal drive to be creative.

sundaysketchingcover

To learn more about Christoph Niemann and his work, visit: http://www.christophniemann.com

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create your own work of art, using a singular object and incorporating it into an image.

Here’s my work – Crocodile Key.

crocodilekey

Think Deeper: Create a series of these artworks and use them to create a story.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Jelly Bean Surprise

jelly-beans-1242855_1920

Creative Thinking Prompt: Jelly Bean Surprise

Write the word ‘bean’ at the top of a piece of lined paper. Brainstorm 25 things related to ‘bean.’ Then think up five more.

bean stalk

jelly bean

lima bean

pinto bean

bean sprout

black bean

refried beans

string beans

green bean

bean bag chair

bean bag

Pick five or more from your list and write a story using the title, Jelly Bean Surprise. Your chosen items can be characters, part of the story problem, part of the solution, part of the setting, etc.

As you write, remember that stories have a beginning (character has a problem), middle (character attempts to solve problem), and end (character solves the problem). When you’re finished, share your story, if you’d like.

Making Origami Science Experiments

origamiscience

Use origami (paper folding) to perform scientific experiments and test hypotheses. From a dish soap racing boat to a table kite to a fan, readers practice origami folds to test science concepts such as surface tension, water molecules, air resistance, gravity and mass.

origamisciencepage

This story promotes creative problem solving, wonder, discovery and combination.

TITLE: Making Origami Science Experiments Step by Step

AUTHOR: Michael G. LaFosse

ILLUSTRATOR: Michael G. LaFosse

PUBLISHER: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2004

AGE GROUP: 6-9

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative problem solving, wonder, discovery, combination.

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) A hypothesis is a guess. Develop a hypothesis that you’d like to test. Then design an experiment to prove or disprove your hypothesis. After you’ve completed your experiment, what new questions do you have? Will you create a new hypothesis?

2) Fold a piece of paper. Smaller and smaller… How many times can you fold the paper? Could this folding go on indefinitely or will it stop?

3) To create origami art, visit this link: http://www.origami-instructions.com

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Michael G. LaFosse, visit: http://www.origamido.com

Creative Thinking Prompt: A World Inside A Tree

Creative Thinking Prompt: A World Inside A Tree

tree_PNG3498-2

Draw a world that exists inside a tree. Imagine what that world would look like. What type of tree does your world exist in? Who lives there? What do they do? What do they look like? How do they co-exist with themselves and the tree? What would happen if they left the tree to explore? Sketch out this tree world. Name your world and its inhabitants.