I recently read an interesting article in Parenting Magazine called, “Why Art Makes Kids Smarter.” I’ve been concerned for a long time about the cut back of art programs in the public schools. Art, music, drama all provide access to right brain creating and learning and we need this balance of logic (left brain) and creativity (right brain). They go hand in hand.
How can students learn about Navajo Indians without working with clay to create a pot? By weaving strips of colored papers, children discover how weaving produces useful and beautiful blankets. Drawing a mural of the covered wagon migration of settlers across the U.S. gives us a mental picture for remembering what occurred. Seeing how watercolor can blend and create beauty opens parts of the brain that promotes creativity and appreciation.
Recently, a friend of mine was helping me pack some boxes. He looked at the material and the box and measured carefully, using all of his left-brain capabilities. He said only 4 items could possibly fit. I looked at it using a right brain perspective, and realized if the material was placed in the box sideways (not the normal direction), we could get in 6 items.
My point is, that creativity and looking at things from a different perspective is a learned skill. It is right brain thinking. This skill is nurtured when we open students’ minds to creative thinking and exploration. Provide creative experiences for your students, it will benefit their education in ways you’ll never know.
Books to help you get started: