Friday, September 24, 2010

Creative Prompt - Start with a Video

My article today is the third in a series of prompts that I hope might spark some creative expression in your kids, and maybe you too. Our first prompt was a general one, where we looked for something else to innovate on, our second took a poem as a model; today we look at using a video as a prompt. I hope you and your kids will join me again so we can all challenge ourselves to be more creative. 

Videos, or video excerpts make great prompts for creative expression. Children might write a story that finishes a video excerpt, or one that's inspired by it. They could create a poem based on a short video, or just describe what happens in their own words. They might decide to use the video as a model for a video they create themselves. Or, after watching a video, they could play it again, and listen only to its music while they draw or paint, trying to capture the feeling of the video.

Here's an example of one video I found on Youtube. It's one of an excellent series about Simon's Cat. This one is Simon's Cat in 'The Box'.

After enjoying this short video together, and discussing it, I would try some questions:
  • Can your kids look at the world from the point of view of a cat?
  • What sort of personality does the cat have?
  • What is the cat thinking? Jot down any thoughts and see where it takes you.
Here's my version of the thoughts in the cat's head:


What's this?
What's this?
Oooh, a cat house!
I'm hiding,
I'm hiding,
And you can't see me.
Clever Cat,
Secret Agent Cat!
Cat flap.

You and your kids might prefer to respond with art work, make a slideshow from your own cat pictures, create a short movie by filming your own cat and processing the tape with movie making software. If you have a cat puppet, you might create a short puppet show, or write a script for one, based on the cat character in the movie. You could choose a cat at Talking Pets, and create a short speech (under 200 characters) for it. Kids might even want to pretend to be a cat, and investigate a cardboard box of their own!

Maybe this video doesn't tickle your funny bone the way it did mine? There are plenty to choose from, and searching is lots of fun.

What video do you choose, and where will it take you?


  1. Another great idea Chook! I might have to put this one on hold for a couple of weeks - I have just skidded into school holidays (and it is Friday night!!). Maybe next term ......

  2. I hope you and the kids all have a wonderful holiday, jdowling! And I hope you get a chance to check out the video - I think the children will love it.

  3. This is a really fun idea. I often use videos as an anticipatory set in my classroom. Creativity sparks creativity. It is always fun to see what the kids come up with as a result and no two ideas are ever the same.

  4. You've nailed it, Kelly - creativity sparks creativity. Love it!


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