Getting Messy: Solving Writing Problems with Creative Play

Michelle LaFrance, J. Indigo Eriksen, Sarah Johnson, Thomas Polk, Robyn Russo

Session Information

Year: 2017 | Time: 10:30am-12:00pm | Location: WORKSHOP: Johnson Center (Room C)

Abstract

BRIEF SESSION DESCRIPTION:

This workshop will focus on a discussion about the opportunities that come of including different types of "creative play" in our classrooms.  Specifically, this session will explore ways that “creative play” empowers students to solve writing problems, break writer’s block, enjoy the writing process, and craft stronger academic writing across disciplines. After a brief introduction to theories of creative play, presenters will offer examples of the types of creative play they have brought to their own classrooms and lead participants in three creative activities. Participants will break into small groups to discuss the possibilities of creative play in their own classrooms and to design their own assignments. Note: A google drive with assignments, activities, and other course plans will also be provided to session participants.

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FULL ABSTRACT: This session discusses the opportunities that come of including different types of "creative play" in our classrooms, particularly helping students to solve writing problems and revise effectively. This 90-minute panel will explore ways that “creative play” empowers students to solve writing problems, break writer’s block, enjoy the writing process, and craft stronger academic writing. In her essay “Writing as Feminist Rhetorical Theory,” (2010), Laura Micciche argues the gains of “play” for writers: “Play involves performance, critical engagement with texts, considerable rhetorical skill, audience awareness, capacity to negotiate voice and tone, and an understanding of social relations—pragmatic, rhetorical knowledge” (182). Creative “play” can be serious, rhetorical, and illuminating for student writers who benefit substantially from the opportunities to rewrite the rules of writing as they learn to think in flexible ways about genre, audience, register, organization/structure, use of evidence, and other elements of academic writing.  

After a brief introduction to theories of creative play, presenters will offer examples of the types of creative play they have brought to their own classrooms and lead participants in three creative activities. (A google drive with assignments, activities, and other course plans will also be provided to session participants.) Participants will break into small groups to discuss the possibilities of creative play in their own classrooms and to workshop assignments.

Keywords

active learning; active learning classrooms; learning spaces; student engagement; creativity; student writing

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