Friday, July 21, 2017

Creative Prompt for Kids - Start with a Book

by Susan Stephenson,

Apart from providing us with a means to Escape to Everywhere (the theme for Children’s Book Week Australia, 2017), books also make wonderful prompts for other forms of creativity. Here are some ideas to get kids started, and below you’ll find a list of all my creative prompts to date.

*** Choose your favourite book. What story does it tell? What other ways could there be to tell that same story, or part of it? Write a list of them.

*** Can you create a teeny tiny book for a very small toy? How would you create an ENORMOUS book?

*** Create an advertisement for a book you have read. Combine words and pictures to persuade other people about how great the book is.

*** Find a book you love and open it to any page. Re-tell that part of the story as a scene from a play or even write a script for the whole book.

*** Use the world invented by a favourite author as a prompt for: a cake to decorate, a diorama, or as a setting for an artwork.

*** Choose your favourite book character and create a puppet based on he/she/it. You could consider making a finger puppet, a hand, sock or glove puppet, a stick puppet, a marionette or something else. What do you know about that character that you want to convey? What materials will you use to create your puppet? Here are some ideas that might help you get started and here.

*** What book have you read that made you laugh? Write a short review about that book that will encourage someone else to read it. Here are some ideas about how to write a book review.

*** Find an old book that is destined for the rubbish dump. What could you make out of it? You might try black-out poetry, paper sculpture or something completely different. If you google “make paper sculptures from old books”, you will find lots of fascinating images.

*** Open a book to any page. Close your eyes and point to a word on that page. Write it down. Do this three times. Now think about those three words. Can you combine them to make up a story in your head? How will you communicate that story to an audience?

*** Find a children’s picture book you like. Look at the illustrations very carefully. What did the artist use to create them? Can you use those materials to create a completely different picture?

*** Choose any three book titles. Arrange the words from those titles the way you want and create a chant with them. Add body percussion, sound effects, dance moves and keep changing things until you are happy with the result. Perform your chant for other people and ask them for feedback. What did they like about it? What would they change about it?

*** Have you thought of making your own book? You could use paper and pencils, or you could create a digital book using software. What will your book be about? Who will read your book? What will happen at the beginning? What will happen in the middle? What will happen at the end? Who will the characters in your book be? Where and when will your book be set?

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