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SFJH Social Studies Teacher Uses Creativity to Engage Students

Submitted by david.thacker on Mon, 02/29/2016 - 07:44
By Rillene Nielsen, pictures by Shea Harmer

 In her article “Why Creativity in the Classroom Matters More Than Ever,” (2015) Kristen Hicks urges educators (parents too?) to help their students think creatively as they explore new ideas.  She lists five ways creativity can be brought into the classroom:  Don’t limit assignments to just one format, Set aside time for creativity, Use tech to broaden your ideas of assignments, Introduce unconventional learning materials into class, and Encourage discussion.

 Friday, in Mrs. Harmer's social studies class, students explored the Oregon Trail from their very own covered wagons. They packed their own wagons and even read tragic stories from the trail.

Take a good look at these pictures.  Covered wagons created using desks and sheets.  Students reading together, sharing and discussing, envisioning what it must have been like for pioneers over one hundred years ago.

  Like many teachers at Spanish Fork Junior High, Ms. Harmer knows and values creativity in the classroom.  She knows students in the twenty-first century need to be able to approach problems in new and unique ways.  Why just open a textbook, when with a little imagination, students can transport themselves back in time.