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What is being creative?

Posted on October 7, 2011 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson is based on the theme of creativity and uses  two thought-provoking short films, What is being  creative? by Kristian Ulrich Larsen and 29 ways To Stay Creative by To-fu,  to encourage students to reflect on how they can be more creative in their lives and as language learners.

Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Advanced (B2.2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching two short films,  listening,  and speaking

Topic: Creativity and language learning

Language: Vocabulary related to creativity

Materials: Two short films,  video,  PowerPoint presentation and video transcript

Downloadable material: what is being creative lesson instructions     creative thinking slides     ken robinson transcript


Step 1

Write What is being creative? on the board, and ask your students to define creativity and what being creative involves in small groups. Your students will probably come up with different definitions, write up any repeated words in their definitions.


Step 2

Tell your students they are going to watch a short film titled What is being creative? They should watch the film and compares their answers in step 1, so they should compare the definition of creativity and what being creative involves  in the film and their own ideas.



Step 3

Get feedback from your students, ask them if they agree with what the film says about creativity.


Step 4

Ask your students the following question:
What do you do to be creative?
Put them into small groups and ask them to come up with specific and practical ways which help them to be creative. Give them 5 minutes to discuss their ideas, and then go through the ideas from the different groups.

Step 5

Tell your students that they are going to watch a short film titled 29 Ways To Stay Creative.  Students should watch the film and compare what they see in the film with their answers in Step 4.



Step 6

Get feedback from your students, and then ask them if they like the advice in the film. In addition, ask them what advice can be applied to learning a language.


Step 7

Show your students the slides in this presentation, and ask them if any of the advice from the 2 films or their own ideas is included.



Step 8

Write up the 4 steps for improving creativity which the presentation recommends:

Step 1: Be curious

Step 2: Make connections

Step 3: Challenge yourself

Step 4: Cultivate your ideas

Put your students into pairs and ask them how they could apply each of the 4 steps in this process to help them be more creative and better language learners.


Follow up

For homework ask your students to watch Ken Robinson’s seminal speech at TED Do schools kill creativity? in which he argues passionately for a greater role for creativity in education. In the following class ask your students if they agree with Ken Robinson. You may like to give your students the transcript  of the speech: ken_robinson_transcript



I hope you enjoy this English language lesson.

Film English is a labour of love, it takes hundreds of hours and thousands of euros a year to sustain and provide free English language lesson plans. Keeping it a free, clean, ad-free experience — which is important to me and, I hope, to you — means it’s subsidised by the generous support of readers like you through donations. So if you find any inspiration, joy and stimulation in these English language lessons or if they help you teaching English, please consider a modest donation — however much you can afford.



5 thoughts on “What is being creative?

  1. This is a magnificent post! This reminds me of something I recently wrote on my blog. I’m linking you on it and I’m subscribing. Keep them coming. You’re doing great stuff!

  2. Pingback: The Image Conference, a summary | Cosas que encuentro para clase

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