When we create an activity, we ought to give the activity a purpose that is something outside practising a certain language point. This purpose can usually be defined as some kind of outcome or product, which can be very simple like writing a list of ingredients for a recipe we want to make for our mother’s birthday party. Or it can be something more complex like writing the script for a story we have read in order to act it in front of the class. In these activities, language is used as a tool, creating a real life situation.
The learning process should be organized in a way that gives time, space and freedom to learners so that they can use their imagination and originality. Maybe this means that during the activity there will be more noise and we have to be aware that there will be many possible answers, solutions and products.
Students need to understand that there is no one right answer, that there are many valuable solutions possible. This calls for tolerance and for ambiguity in the classroom.
Managing a creative classroom activity also makes it necessary for the teacher to act more like a facilitator or helper. All this of course does not mean losing sight of the objective or lacking realistic timing. But this will definitely provide more excitement during the activity and definitely more joy.
We also need to make the evaluation an integral part of the creative process. For evaluating a creative activity, it is very important not to restrict the evaluation to language use, as this would give learners the message that the outcome of the activity is not really important. Although the assessment is a very important part of the process, the students should not feel that they are evaluated during the activity, thus they we feel more free to express themselves.
The evaluation process should be varied, it should combine self-evaluation, peer-evaluation and teacher-evaluation. It aims at different things: We evaluate the end-product, language use and the process using different criteria, which we agreed on with the learners before the activity started.
If we want to develop a creative activity in the classroom, we have to check for the presence of these four features: imagination, purpose, originality and value, and it is necessary to schedule the activity in a way that all these can be incorporated.
Fehér, Judit. Features of creativity. BBC & the British Council, Pilgrims, UK. Online: teachingenglish.org.uk/article/features-creativity