building creativity in the classroom using the arts and technology

Why are the arts so important to a child's development?

  • Personal identity
  • Positive self-esteem
  • Giving children a sense of meaning and purpose
  • Life satisfaction
Creativity builds important skills.

How can the arts be incorporated into the curriculum across many subjects?

  • Have students write a script based on a short story. e.g., working in small groups and performing
  • Have students create a work of art based on a theme. e.g., illustrate a book report, draw a picture of main character etc.
  • Have students create a poster or advertisement. e.g., science fair, art show
  • Introduce works of art based on subject being studied. e.g., stars, Let’s look at famous paintings of stars such as Starry Night.

What technology tools can be used to accomplish this?

Amazon Storywriter

Adapt a short story into a script or re-create a historical event. In science, create a dialogue between different animals or different chemicals. Storywriter automatically formats the screenplay as you type. Students can work collaboratively and put on a performance.

Created by Maya, age 11
Create a dialogue to highlight a history or science lesson.
Students can work collaboratively and put on a performance.

Scholastic Story Starters

A writing prompts application for K-6. Students click to pick a situation, a character, a setting and an object. They can write a story, a letter, a newspaper article or postcard.They can add drawings. Fun graphics and a game element will engage students. Their work can be printed or downloaded.

Created by James, age 8
Choose from four categories.
Pull the levers for story prompts.
Choose a format.
Let's get writing!
Add a picture.
Add more pages, print or save.


Direct students to search engines to research art. Great tool to look up works of art. Makes connections with contemporary artists. Take a peak into galleries and museums.

Search for an artist.
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
Learn facts about the artwork.
Find out how it has influenced contemporary artists.
Discover other great artists in the same theme.

Common Core State Standards: The Arts-Based Approach

"The arts-based approach can inspire students to be creative and give them a deeper understanding of what they are learning. Teachers can choose an anchor standard they want students to fulfill, then create and implement art-based activities around it." - Janelle Cox

Text Types and Purposes1:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

Production and Distribution of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.8: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

Conventions of Standard English:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

ISTE Standards for Students

Creativity and innovation: Create original works as a means of personal or group expression

Communication and collaboration: Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats

Digital citizenship: Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity

Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning

Technology operations and concepts: Understand and use technology systems

ISTE Standards for Teachers

Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity: Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness

Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments: Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress

Model digital age work and learning: Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation

Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility: Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources

Engage in professional growth and leadership: Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning


Cox, Janelle. Creativity Within the Common Core State Standards. Retrieved from:

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