Teaching for Creativity: Scribble Characters

Consider testing out this entertaining creativity exercise with your students or even with friends. (It’s THAT fun.) When Summer Seminar instructor, Magdalenda Grohman facilitated this exercise with this year’s participants, they had a blast with it.

  1. Every person should have a piece of paper and a writing utensil.
  2. Close your eyes. Keeping your pen or pencil on the paper, scribble for about forty-five seconds. Think about the mood you are in, and try to reflect that mood through your scribbles.
  3. Once everyone is finished drawing, open your eyes, and gather together all the scribbles. Shuffle the scribbles.
  4. Choose one scribble. As a group, think about and describe the scribble. What adjectives come to mind?
  5. Imagine that this scribble is a person. Who is it? What is his/her name? How old is he/she? What does he/she do for a living and/or for fun? What is his/her relationship with his family? What interesting events have occurred in his/her life? What is his/her biggest wish and/or greatest fear?
  6. Jot down the most important aspects of this person, and continue personifying the rest of the scribbles as a group.
  7. Once you have a set of scribble-characters, then randomly distribute one to each participant. Ask one participant to create a sentence to begin a narrative. The scribble-character in his/her hand must be involved in the narrative.
  8. The next person adds another sentence and another character to the narrative, until you have a funny, collaborative story that incorporates all of the scribble-characters.

Here are some of our scribble characters:

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In what ways are you encouraging open-minded, creative attitudes and training transformative thinking in your classroom?

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator for Teaching Programs

3 Responses to “Teaching for Creativity: Scribble Characters”

  1. 1 Lisa @besidestillwaters.blogspot July 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

    A familiar activity for teaching language development and sense of story to young children is for the teacher to start a story with one sentence. Then each child in turn, continues the story by stating one new sentence related to the sentences (the narrative) already given. I’m curious to precede this language activity with the dimension of individual student scribble drawings followed by using those drawings as the catalyst for character development and then oral story sequencing. I anticipate that the children will enjoy this activity immensely since they respond so strongly to their own artwork. The art will offer visual prompts that will be interpreted uniquely by each student, nurturing creative thought on multiple cognitive levels including spatial skills and language. Let the fun begin!

    • 2 Melissa Nelson July 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Dear Lisa,

      We love doing the activity you describe in front of a work of art. The students come up with some great stories! We’d love to hear how your students respond to the added fun of scribbles.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      Melissa Nelson

  1. 1 Teaching for Creativity: A Conversation Between Artworks « Dallas Museum of Art Educator Blog Trackback on August 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm
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