The Morning Make: Creating Creatures

WikiStix Makes
My sixth graders come into my room in the morning, with a routine that begins with lunch count and morning work. I’m always divided on morning work, so I try to give them critical thinking activities and problems to sort through as a way to get their brain pumping before the day really begins. This week, as they ended their last two rounds of state testing (math), I decided to do something different.

On each desk, I put a handful of Wikistix bendies, and their instructions were simple: create a creature. That’s it. I didn’t explain anything more, nor did I elaborate when asked. I just let them go at it. And boy, they were jazzed up about making something. Some had used Wikistix before; Others, never. But the buzz in the room was palpable as they twisted, cut, re-arranged, traded colors and started to … make.

I overheard one student saying to another:

“Just invent something. You’re making something that doesn’t exist. It’s fun.”

How great is that quote? It really hits home with the idea of the need for creativity in our classrooms, to imagine something out of  nothing. We lined up all the creatures along the shelf near the window, on a sort of impromptu display, and when the other sixth grade classes came in during the day, boy, were they jealous.

Peace (in the make),


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