Creativity is Education: Awakening the Creative Spirit

A Program for Children Ages 4-9

"Music is the Language of the Spirit. It opens the secret of life, bringing peace, abolishing strife." Kahil Gibran

Awaking the Creative Spirit is based, in part, on a program titled Angel Bear Yoga. Adding music, reading aloud, and creative performance further enhances and inspires children on all levels. These additional enhancements can easily connect weekly lesson plans to the core curriculum for each grade.

Each weekly lesson plan focuses on one of the character traits listed in the Angel Bear Main Lesson Book: for example, Honesty.

Mondays: Peace is a Child Smiling (Character Trait: Honesty)

Angel Bear Yoga, a program developed by Christi Eley, a certified yoga instructor, to "strengthen bodies and build character through yoga, nature, and creative imagery." Primarily developed for parents and classroom teachers," Angel Bear Yoga seeks to open your child's eyes to the beauty around them. In doing so, they will feel connected to the world around them and see all things' inter connectedness. Learning compassion and respect for all living things will grow wings of action to care for the world." The Main Lesson Book is available online at and contains lesson plans and nature poses for fifty themes of character traits such as Acceptance, Confidence, Courage, Listening, Understanding, and Honesty. Online training and certification, as well as supporting materials and teaching resources, are also available.

Each weekly lesson is based on one character trait and is treated as the theme for the entire week.

Tuesdays: Creative Drama (Character Trait: Honesty)

Creative drama activities offer an opportunity for children to: Expand self-awareness Develop imagination Think independently Work cooperatively Improve communication skills Express a healthy release of emotions Build social awareness

In essence, creative drama is dramatic activities that have the experience of the participants as the goal. Creative drama can include dramatic play, story enactment, imagination journeys, theatre/drama games, music, and dance. "Let's pretend" is the norm in the creative drama class. Creative drama can help children learn about emotions, problem-solving, and relating to other people. Through their experiences with drama, students develop their imaginations and their confidence. One of the most notable things about creative drama is that there are no "wrong" answers – through pretending, animals can talk, kids can travel to outer space or the jungle, and the sky can be green while the grass is blue. Dramatic play is s crucial in all stages of child development. Nellie Mc Caslin

Fairy/Folk Tales/Tall Tales and Myths Choose a fairy tale that has to do with the character trait chosen, read aloud, and discuss.

Poetry Poems provide a unique opportunity for a creative drama class. Because it is often written in the first person, it is easy for children to put themselves into the actions or emotions expressed in the poem.

Choose a poem illustrating the character technique chosen and discuss.

Children’s Books: A good children’s book can provide enough activities for an entire creative drama class. Choose a book that focuses on the character trait chosen. Create a warm-up, a game, and an art project in addition to the drama experiences.

Wednesdays: Song and Dance ( Character Trait: Honesty)

Benefits of Music and Movement

Provides a means of communication and expression

Serves as an emotional release

Heightens aesthetic awareness and sensitivity

Develops and promotes creative thinking

Develops an appreciation for individuality

Assists in the development of physical coordination and body awareness

Strengthens self-concept and self-confidence

Increases self-understanding

Enhances the ability to differentiate sounds

Helps develop fine motor skills

Provides opportunities for problem-solving and decision making

Provides insight and assists the adult in understanding the child

Develops self-relaxation and regulation skills

Illustrates cause and effect

Stimulates the part of the brain that learns

Develops math concepts and skills

Choose music that focuses on the character trait chosen. Provide materials such as ribbons, scarves, and large pieces of material and various percussion instruments. If the chosen music contains lyrics, treat them as poetry or short stories, and encourage them to dramatize and move to the selected piece. Encourage each child to let go and freely awaken their creative spirit.

Thursdays: Feeling the Music (Character Trait: Honesty)

Choose four selections of age-specific music. As each piece plays, instruct the students to write down how each piece makes them feel about the selected character trait. Invite each of them to talk about how the music made them feel, which one was their favorite, and how each piece affected their mood.

Fridays: Painting the Music (Character trail: Honesty)

Set up a large table with a roll of paper taped to it. Place containers of tempera paint and brushes in various areas of the tables. Instruct the students to sit in a circle in yoga positions. Review the week's activities and discuss their feelings concerning the selected character trait. Explain that each of the four selected music pieces played on Thursday will be replayed only this time, the students will line up and paint their feelings on the roll of paper. The process will continue until each student has painted their feelings for each piece of music.

Proudly Display their artistic work in the classroom, indicating which character trait was studied.

It Takes a Universe

The child awakens to a universe.

The mind of a child to a world of meaning.

Imagination to a world of beauty.

Emotions to a world of intimacy.

It takes aa universe to make a child both in outer form and inner spirit.

It takes a universe to educate a child.

A universe to fulfill a child.

Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth

Joanne Vecchio

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