Keep Kids Creative Week: 6 Lesson Ideas that Support the Standards

Did you know that the last week in September is National Keep Kids Creative Week? Bruce Van Patter, an illustrator and an author, started this holiday in 2003. He wanted to encourage children to imagine and create. Let’s celebrate creativity by following the “Create” Domain objectives. Here are six lesson ideas that support the AASL Standards Framework for Learners:

Create a Collage

Inquire. I.B.3. Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.

  • Set up tables with pencils, colored paper, scissors, and glue.
  • Introduce learners to collage by showcasing illustrations by Steve Jenkins. Play this video clip of Jenkins demonstrating how he works with collage.
  • Tell learners that they will create a collage about a topic of interest.
  • Invite learners to work with others to generate ideas and inspire creativity.

Create a Conversation

Include. ll.B.1. Learners adjust their awareness of the global learning community by interacting with learners who reflect a range of perspectives.

  • Show learners different Caldecott Medal award-winning books. Ask students what they notice. Confirm that the books have a medal on the cover. Share information about the Caldecott Medal. Explain that a committee works together to choose one book every year for this incredible honor. Committee members justify their favorite books and listen to the recommendations of others.
  • Divide learners into groups. Give each group a pile of Caldecott Medal award-winning books. Instruct learners to choose their favorite book. Students will defend their choices. Encourage learners to listen to other recommendations and build on conversations.
  • Enrich learning by creating a mock Caldecott station. Read the Horn Book article “Mock Caldecotts 2018” by Julie Danielson for inspiration. With this station, children can promote books that are worthy of the medal. They can create criteria to judge the books. Share final selections on social media (#mockcaldecott).

Create a Poem

Collaborate. Ill.B.1. Learners participate in personal, social, and intellectual networks by using a variety of communication tools and resources.

  • Read the book World Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ask learners to talk about their favorite page. Discuss what they liked about the artwork and the poetry.
  • Invite learners to use the Shadow Puppet Edu app to find artwork that inspires them to write a poem. This app allows users to create a video story with an image from the Met Museum of Art. Learners can use the audio feature to record their poem.
  • Visit to guide developing writers to craft a poem.

Create a Collection

Curate. lV.B.1. Learners gather information appropriate to the task by seeking a variety of sources.

  • Tell learners that they are going to curate resources about creativity. They will search for books, images, websites, and ideas that compel them to create. They will save ideas on a digital platform, like SeeSaw, or a journal.
  • Introduce learners to This website is an AASL Best Website for Teaching and Learning. Students can visit this site to gather ideas to create a passion project.

Create Things

Explore. V.B.2. Learners construct new knowledge by persisting through self-directed pursuits by tinkering and making.

  • Read With My Hands: Poems about Making Things by Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterChildren and adults will love this book about making. Included are poems about shaping clay, making parachutes, crafting cards, and carving soap. Set up maker stations to create ideas presented in this delightful collection.

Create Art

Engage. Vl.B.1. Learners use valid information and reasoned conclusions to make ethical decisions in the creation of knowledge by ethically using and reproducing others’ work.

  • Visit author/illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s “Broken Crayon” page on Instagram. Explore and appreciate the genius illustrations inspired by broken crayons. Point out the copyright information at the bottom of each illustration. Ask learners why they think Ohi added that information to her creations. Guide learners in a discussion about why copyright information is important.
  • Pass out crayons, pencils, and a blank piece of paper. Invite learners to create their own Broken Crayon piece of art. Instruct learners to write copyright information on their creations.


Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s “Broken Crayon”:

Mock Caldecotts 2018″:



Shadow Puppet Edu:

Steve Jenkins Books:



Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher:

Categories: Blog Topics, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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