Getting your primary students to think creatively may seem impossible. In reality, primary students are at the right age to develop their creative thinking abilities. So, what can you do to help facilitate the creative thinking process?
Young children are naturally curious. They will ask questions about almost anything. Instead of discouraging their many questions, educators should encourage them. Yes, some of the questions they ask may sound silly. However, these silly questions are your primary students’ way of formulating creative ideas and concepts.
Allow them to make decisions
Encourage your young students to make some decisions. Young children often like to take the initiative. They begin to imitate the adults around them, and they want to do things their own way. So, let them. These decisions can be something as simple as which coloring crayons to use to color the grapes on their coloring sheets. Letting them make decisions will allow them to learn independence and encourage creativity.
Allow them to make mistakes
It is hard to watch your students made decisions and then fail. However, it is through these experiences that primary students learn how to come up with creative solutions to their problems.
Praise their efforts
Always praise your students’ efforts. Praise will increase their self-esteem, and motivate them to keep trying. By praising your primary students’ efforts and creative ideas, you are encouraging them to try new things and letting them know it is okay to be different.
Open ended questions
Ask your primary students open-ended questions. These questions shouldn’t have simple “yes” or “no” answers. They should make the students think. It may take a few times for your students to adjust to these types of questions, but once they do, they will begin to use their imaginations.
Read to them often and discuss what you have read
Books offer students a way to use their imaginations. Reading takes them to magical worlds and foreign lands. It offers them an escape from the “real world”. By listening to you read, your students are using their imaginations and learning how to think creatively. So, read to your students often and discuss the stories that you read as a group.
Print rich room
Create a reading friendly room. Have print everywhere. Keeps books and age appropriate magazines readily available for your primary students.
Model creative thinking for your primary students. Young students are very impressionable. So, let them see you working on creative projects. Work through problems out loud so that the students can see how you solve problems. And, definitely let them see you read.
As a teacher, you have a wonderful opportunity to cultivate your primary students’ creative abilities. Encourage them to ask questions, to use their imaginations, and to “think outside the box”.