During the International Week of the Gifted, we have been looking ahead. Next year is the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity. What shall we do, in order to celebrate it? This is the question I have put to my students over the past two weeks. These students are gifted children aged 6-13 from two different One Day School classes, and from Gifted Online.
In writing this post, I am being a bit naughty, and the children are going to growl at me. I’ll explain why. We springboard off one another’s ideas all the time at One Day School and at Gifted Online, but we have a very strong culture of acknowledgement. We always say whose ideas we are using, as a thank you. However, many of these ideas have had so many students’ input that it has become difficult to say exactly whose ideas they are. Rather than listing ideas with lengthier lists of names alongside them, I would like to simply acknowledge all of my students:
Thank you, GO and ODS students, for all of your ideas, and for the way you extended each other’s ideas. Please growl at me gently, and tell Mum and Dad that you really are famous anyway. Your wonderful suggestions are now in an international blog tour, and I’ll tell you how many countries have read them in class. I promise.
Without further ado, here are some great ideas from Kiwi kids, on how to celebrate the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity.
Celebrate people who have done gifted and creative things:
- Compile biographies, poems, songs, blog posts and slideshows about our favourite gifted and creative people, to show that they are just like other people in some ways, but also quite different in other ways. Include the creative things they have made, or their creative solutions to problems, and how they come up with ideas that are so interesting to other people. Include people who are disabled or twice exceptional. Explain how they have been successful despite these challenges.
- Take photographs or make videos of sculptures or other creative and interesting things near where we live, and send them to gifted children around New Zealand and in other countries. Include the stories behind the creations. Get other gifted children to send something back about the creative and interesting things where they live.
Be creative ourselves:
- Run workshops where we teach other people to do the creative things we can do.
- Choose toys or possessions we no longer want. Modify them in creative ways. Give them away or sell them to promote creativity.
- Have creative construction challenge days with different materials or construction toys each day.
- Create songs, poems and stories about what it is like to be gifted and creative, and what the creative things are that we like to do. Exchange them with other gifted children in another country.
- Invent more creative games that we can play. Include creative construction tasks within the games.
- Invent a creative tool or technique to help us be more creative – a bit like metacognition, but maybe we can call metacreation instead. Maybe it could generate steps for different styles of creativity or different creative products, or it could weld ideas together. Then, s-l-o-w-l-y send it round the countries like a Chinese whisper, but have them change it on purpose, to see what comes up next.
- Create a cumulative drawing and have gifted students add to it all around the country. Maybe use digital art and share all the steps online.
- Collect photos of gifted students from all around New Zealand. Or photograph hands or use handprints instead of showing faces. Make all the photographs into a collage, or the word “gifted”, or a banner.
- Have a photo or drawing competition and make a collage with all the entries.
- Photograph our pets, creative work, classrooms, or local scenery and exchange photos with kids at a gifted programme in another country.
- Make gifted awareness videos that are parodies of well known videos. Have a video competition.
- Have creative writing challenges. “What if?” stories. Science fiction stories. Claymation based on our science fiction stories. Stories including ideas like how knowledge changes, and whether we could change the past to improve the future.
- Plant trees and flowers all over your neighbourhood. Get gifted children all around the world to do the same. Be smart enough to save the planet!
Change things at school:
- Have a whole week of One Day School.
- Have four days each week at One Day School and one day each week at regular school.
- Have a bring-a-friend day at your gifted programme.
- Have a bring-a-teacher day at your gifted programme. Bring a teacher from regular school.
- Have your gifted programme teacher teach at your regular school for a day.
- Have more choice in what you learn and do at regular school.
- Have your gifted teacher teach you outside for a day to create awareness of the gifted programme at your host school.
- Have a cost free day at your gifted programme.
- Have your regular school get a bonus for sending kids to gifted programmes.
- Have free testing for giftedness, to identify more gifted people and create more understanding, awareness and support.
- Have One Day School and Gifted Online in every country of the world.
- Make the school day longer*.
- *Please do not choose this.
Other ideas (we have until 2013 to figure out how or why we should do these things):
- Have a countdown calendar for the World Gifted Conference.
- Cheer for gifted people at midnight. Every night.
- Have an opposite day.
- Bring a giraffe to school.
- Have a national holiday.
- Release helium balloons. Find out where they land.
- Have a party. With 50 pizzas. Each.