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Creativity is a trait that everyone is born with and cannot be taught. It begins to thrive after birth under appropriate environment and produce a lot of works and activities. Creative arts are the works and activities produced by children’s creativity. Creative arts are children’s imaginative behaviors or activities what are produced by creativity. In curriculums that are designed for children’s initiative play, creative arts can be found what involve children’s movements, emotions, languages and cognition. For instance, children use their imagination to draw a picture, dance with rhythm, compose a story, or pretend to play.
In the process of creativity arts, children use their creativity along with movements, emotions, languages and cognition to complete these activities, simultaneously, children’s physical, social-emotion, language and cognition are developed as well.
After continuous reflection and practices, along with physical development, cognitive progress, and social emotional promotion, creativity gradually becomes a comprehensive ability what lays a solid foundation for future success.
Connected with my experiences, after observing my five years old daughter, I found creativity is everywhere in her daily lives. Recently, she told me she had a dream last night which was obviously made up by her, because I clearly saw that she was telling the story while conceiving. But the story was very interesting. She mixed several plots from different picture books, added or changed characters, using our back yard as the background of her dream.
So, the story was that she led several pet rabbits to pick fruits from the trees.
They met a bad guy and some difficulties, but finally they got the fruits successfully, and went home to share with the whole family. This activity is a creative art, because she used her imagination to make up it. During the process, my daughter used many actions to indicate how to pick fruits or climb trees, used both English and Chinese to narrate the story. She also set up some problems to be solved in the story, which reflects the development of social emotions. After the whole story finish, she was fulfilled, and I think she found a sense of accomplishment which can promote her self-esteem.
I used to think creative arts were limited to artistic behavior, which is only reflected in children’s final works, such as a painting or a handicraft. But now I understand that creative arts emphasize the process of children’s exploration, not focus on their final works by using materials. In the process of creative arts, children can find a learning method and way of thinking that suits each individual and contribute to children’s many domains’ development. Not all the same age children develop at the same stage, each child has different interests and hobbies, they also have different capacity of learning. In an emergent curriculum, children can initiative play and freely explore with appropriate materials what are set up or designed by teachers’ carefully observation.
An emergent curriculum gives children choices. They learn things based on their own interests without anyone’s push. It can help children to keep calm and smooth emotion to accept new knowledge, and it provides enough time to children to ponder, understand or manipulate the things they have explored. Children deeply concentrate on playing and learning, they can find the way they are interested in or good at learning. Teachers find opportunities to involve in scaffolding children to deepen and extend their knowledge. All the teachers’ support and scaffolding are according to each child’s development. So, an emergent curriculum is very respectful to the individuals and can help children develop in variety ways.
After reading the article “The Emergence of Emergent Curriculum”, I think children bring to the emergent curriculum should be their imagination, curiosity, questions, and anything they are interested in. Teachers should bring their eyes to observe children, to bring their brain to design activities to meet children’s interests, to bring their pens to record what happened in the class to think about more appropriate activities and questions for children. The purpose of teacher observation of children in curriculum development is to find what are the children’s interests, how about their skills and needs. Then scaffold them to reach higher level, ask open-ended questions to inspire their ideas, design appropriate activities to deepen and extend their knowledge.
The children’s interest is dramatic play of pretending mummies and playing a mom to care of the baby. Because the two children wrap scarves around their body, and one child says, “I am the mommy”. The connection between action and the word pronunciation show that they are imitating mummies. Then the children both want to play a mom to give the baby a bath. It demonstrates the children are associating the pronunciation of “mommy” to their daily events what a mom helps a baby to take bath.
I will add some cloths, towels, toothbrushes, shampoo bottles to inspire their interests of washing a baby. I will also prepare a picture baby body parts to help them recognize human body part, encourage them to think why it is important to keep our body clean. If they surround scarves on themselves again, or wrap the scarf around the baby doll, it is an opportunity to show them a kids’ book “Where Is My Mummy” that may help the children to distinguish the words “mommy” and “mummy”.
To promote the children’s physical and cognitive development, I will prepare baby diapers, clothes, and socks for this dramatic play. It is not easy to change diapers or wear clothes for a doll. This activity will help children to promote their fine motor skills, at the same time, it will cultivate children’s persistence and attention. If they have difficulty to do it, I expect them to ask for help from each other that can promote their relationship and social interaction with peers. Or, seek help from teachers to develop their relationship and social interaction with familiar adults.
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