The purpose of Creativity Booster activities is to offer a fun warm up with students at the beginning of each class. It acts as an ice breaker and helps get students’ brains in gear for class and it generally ties into the lesson or has a purpose beyond the obvious.
There are different creativity boosters: some invite students to think visually, see ‘16 squares‘, some invite students to discover feelings of empathy, see ‘An Ode to the Left Hand‘, some invite students to quiet and focus their minds, see ‘5 Senses‘.
Creativity Boosters are useful for setting the tone for a fun and engaging lesson. They can be used as a warm up in either highly visual creative courses (ex: design and/or visual arts-focused classes) or non-visual courses that require creative problem solving (ex: science, business management and social sciences).
For the ‘Yes! Let’s!’ Creativity Booster, there is no preparation required other than having a list of everyday actions/activities that you’ll ask students to act out (see below), as well as an understanding of the lesson/purpose of the activity to debrief afterwards.
‘Yes! Let’s!’ comes from the world of improv. This activity works best if everyone’s cameras are on, however it’s not required. It’s important to note that in the art of improv, a ‘no’ is a dead end. Nothing ends a scene faster. This energising, low-stakes invitation to unequivocally commit to jumping into something is a great creative and life skill to embrace, even if students are unsure or feel a little uncomfortable.
The instructor will say something like “Let’s go skiing”. The entire group will collectively respond with: “Yes, Let’s!” The entire group including the instructor will act out skiing, the more exaggerated the better.
Lead students through 3-5 actions, leading by example and opening yourself up to be vulnerable so students can do the same.
Let’s go skiing
Let’s type on a computer
Let’s fly a kite
Let’s drink a hot coffee
Let’s make a pizza
Let’s pretend to be a dog
Lesson: Sometimes it’s best not to overthink things and just go for it. Helping students become aware of their inner critic/judge/editor and asking them to practice silencing this inner voice is a skill that may help them become more self confident and feel more free to create in the future.
Approximately 5 minutes.
ADAPTATIONS AND EXAMPLES
No special technology is required beyond video conferencing software in a live, synchronous class. This activity works best if all students have their cameras on, however it is not essential.
Talk Paper Scissors podcast, Episode 058: Serious Fun. In this podcast episode, I explain the rationale behind the importance of having ‘Serious Fun’ in post-secondary education, including the incorporation of Creativity Boosters in my virtual classroom.
- Educator prep: None
- Student prep: None
- Synchronous, Asynchronous
- On-screen annotation, Cameras off option
- Duration: < 5 mins