What is a craptivity, you ask?
It’s an activity given to children in a classroom that, let’s face it, is a bit crap.
What makes a task crap? Several things.
1. A minimal cognitive load. By this I mean that there is no challenge for the students. More doing than thinking. https://ateacherislikeacandle.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/candles-and-cognitive-load/
2. A value of product over process. These are the craft projects whose sole aim is to look good on Pinterest or displayed on a fridge.
3. More work for the teacher than the student. If it takes the teacher longer to print, cut, laminate and otherwise prepare the resources for a lesson than it does for the kids to complete it, that’s a red flag.
4. Limited creativity and originality. These are the activities that are the cookie-cutter, prescriptive, production line ones that give the children absolutely no opportunity to be creative or display their own unique ideas.
5. No student voice or choice. If kids don’t get to choose what colour, size, composition or medium they’ll employ to create their piece of work, chances are it may be a craptivity.
Still not sure if your lesson content is quality? Try asking yourself:
Is it age appropriate? Does it involve an element of play? Does it promote curiosity, investigation and discovery?
Will it build student self esteem or tear it down? Will the pupils enjoy it AND be extended by it?Does it demonstrate that you see the child as an innately wise, competent and capable being?
If, right now, you’re thinking back on that art activity you did last week with different eyes, then you’re already ahead of the curve.
You’re already on the right path to providing better learning outcomes for your class just by making a few tiny changes to your usual practice.
If this post gets you to stop and reflect, even if just for a bit, I’ll count that as a success.
Let’s scrap the craptivities. Now.
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