We know most of your teaching days are already packed with full to-do lists. When you look closely at what’s on your list, do you find that some items are stand-alone items and some are pieces or parts of much larger projects or problems. Isn’t this exactly what it looks like inside most professional undertakings? Aren’t professions supposed to be the pathways our students choose for things they are curious about? And if they get it right (make good choices) those professions will be fertile ground for demonstrating their creativity skills and mindsets. So let’s help them get ready!
At Curiosita, we support educators in designing creative product-based learning environments in any content area. Just the “ticket” to get students interest piqued in developing life-long creative skills. Some product opportunities will be umbrellaed under larger inquiry-based themes: STEM, Maker Movement, Project-Based and Problem-Based learning. But in reality, no matter the theme or content area, your students will definitely be involved in working on several different products.
Tic-Tac-Toe Profession Boards
As a science teacher, Patti taught Antarctica content and designed Tic-Tac-Toe boards of product options for students. Let’s take a closer look at the Frozen Worlds Tic-Tac-Toe board. Hidden within each block are the professions of: naturalist, author, photographer, game coder, comedian, and graphic artist. Each one giving learners creative product experiences within a variety of unique professions. Providing the time to “play and produce” in a variety of genres is fertile ground for the growth of imagination and creative skills.
Projects: A Series of Products
Doesn’t it feel a bit more manageable to plan for a series of products than trying to get your head around organizing a much larger project? Offering product options allows learners to make personalized choices and hone creative skills while being immersed in areas that may someday become professional passions. A series of products viewed as parts or pieces of much larger projects helps these tasks become more manageable – in other words, doable. This can be further organized into individual, partner, or small group work assignments. Participating at different levels of organization gives each learner a clear sense of their contributions to the final production. Sometimes these can become school-wide or grade level celebrations. In Patti’s science class all students presented their Frozen Worlds products at an Antarctic Fair showcasing work from all content areas with supporting productions from the music and art departments.
Dreams to Reality
Today there is an explosion of “in with the new and out with the old” as we see jobs disappear and new ones appear. And isn’t it interesting to look at all of the ones listed at the end of movies like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Here’s a few you can add to your choice offerings from the 1,000 plus list of cast and crew: wig maker, production supervisor, draughtsman, charge hand, foley editor, explosives engineer, senior animatronic designer, compositor, best boy, costume cutter, electrician . . . click here to view complete list. Educators can make students’ dreams a reality when they include a wide variety of product choices in their curriculum.
Chief Curiosity Officer
Taking this a step further, the production of a movie could be viewed as a series of products assigned for the “greater good” of completing the film. Again, involving individual, partner, and small group contributions to complete passion projects.. So, we invite you to become the Chief Curiosity Officer of your classroom. This is a title we would bestow on all educators who use product-based learning to pique students curiosities and provide product development pathways as avenues of expressions of students’ creativity.
For Your Classroom
Providing product exploration opportunities for young learners may lead to professional life-long interests and passions. Start building your own product choice lists to help students expand their understanding of what a product looks like. Build on their curiosities!
Let’s Reflect and Remember . . .
- Providing choices can lead to the discovery of interests and passions.
- “Play and Produce” time develops creative skills.
- A series of products can culminate in project-level work.
- Project-based learning can include individual, partner, and small group work.
- Product-based learning is easier to implement than project or problem-based learning.
- Write your new job description . . . Chief Curiosity Officer!
“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.”
~ Anatole France
Live, learn, and lead creatively.
Rick and Patti