Goal: Create (40 Writing, Music, & Art Resources)

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 15 and the Cool Sites Series

As we get older, we tend to leave our creative selves behind and take ourselves too seriously. Our hobbies can provide us with inspiration and release. This year I plan on being more creative by making time for my other loves- art, music, and creative writing. The short-term goal is to aim to write poems, prose, or short stories at least once a week until the process becomes a habit. I will start today by writing at least one poem. What else do you love to do than teach?  Perhaps, you used to cook, act, sculpt, mold, play the guitar, write poetry, or paint? What can you do today to encourage yourself to inspire your creativity again?

As an educator, I also believe in inspiring students to seek their creative outlets. I believe that creative arts programs reach many at-risk students who do not succeed academically. Being creative allows them to express themselves when they might otherwise be reserved. Moreover, creativity helps many children stay out of trouble and gives them a way to believe in themselves. The most incredible experience of my life was organizing a creative arts program, ETHOS. ETHOS was an alliance of slam poets, artists, and musicians that volunteered to provide their talents to improving the surrounding community. We won an award for our summer youth program at the SAMMinistries, which is a homeless shelter. Here are two of the events that brought tears to my eyes. A very talented musician, Ron Horne, ran one program where the children were able to drum on pots, pans, and chairs to make a group song while he sang. The children were so excited! You can hear Ron singing on this inspiring website he created about his organization, the Texas Youth Word Collective. I am excited to see that Ron continues to give to the community through creative arts programs! On another day, my friend, Rod C. Stryker, who is a published poet, and my friend, John Marsden, a musician, worked with me to have the children create and recite their own original poetry. Each child was given a metal cookie pan and worked with magnetic poetry. After crafting their poems, they were able to read them aloud on a microphone. Some of the children played their homemade instruments in the background. The children really enjoyed this summer program and we were glad to provide them with a few moments of joy.

Web 2.0 has revolutionized creativity. Now, students can share their works with a wider audience and collaborate on creative projects. Below are a list of various websites to help you or your students be creative!

Writing Resources

These are some of my favorite writing resources.

  • Twitter Magnets– Create poetry on Twitter! This website works like the magnetic poetry pieces on your refrigerator. You get a choice of words, piece them together while listening to tranquil music, then tweet the poem if you choose. I heard of this wonderful website via @NMHS_principal.
  • NanoWrimo– If you write novels, try this free yearly contest. For the month of November, you are encouraged to write 50,000 words of a novel for a certificate and prize. If you do this as a class, you may be able to get Alpha Smart Neos for all your students that month! What I love about this site is that it is social with several tools to help inspire you and your students to complete the project.
  • ScriptFrenzy-Another social contest like NanoWrimo, except you have to complete 100 pages of a script during April. You may write any type of screenplay, stage play, TV show, short film, comic book, graphic novel, or adaptations of novels. You also have the option of doing this with your students and borrowing  Alpha Smart Neos if you register by February 28th.
  • One Word– You are given one word and sixty seconds to write about it. When you are finished, you have the option to publish this to your blog or on Facebook.
  • Write Rhymes– students who are writing poetry can find more words that rhyme! Check out Kelly Tenkely’s blog post for creative ways to integrate this tool into a lesson!
  • Word Magnets– Mix text up and create new stories, poems, and more. You have a variety of backgrounds and graphic organizers to choose from. Visit Nik Peachey’s post for more ways to use this amazing tool!
  • Penzu– A free place to keep a journal or your writings. You can choose to make them public or keep them private with encryption codes.
  • Character Chart– This chart will help your students flesh out their characters.
  • Seventh Sanctum– This website provides 100s of generators for helping with creating Anime characters to finding plots for your movie or story.
  • Cliche Finder– Are you searching for a cliche but only remember a word? Try this search engine.
  • The Story Starter– Another generator that provides a sentence to get you started with your story.
  • Creativity Tools– Find more generators, including a fantastic tool to help you come up with realistic names for characters. This generator asks for specifics like the census year and gender.
  • How to Create a Writing Challenge Using Google Docs– This video and blog post will show you the tools that can help you create a writing challenge for your students.
  • 49 Free Online Reference Tools for Freelance Writers– If you haven’t found what you are looking for check these resources, which include a variety of dictionaries such as the slang dictionary.
  • Is That A Narrative in Your Pocket– Several Iphone Apps for digital storytelling.

Music Resources

If you or your students are musicians or just like music, then these resources will be helpful.

  • BlipFM– If you like to find new music or share music, then this social site is for you. You can dedicate the music to people on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and more! You can listen to my playlists.
  • Youtube Instruments– Play the guitar, piano, organ and many more instruments on Youtube. Music lovers will love this channel of interactive instruments. Try playing the Youtube Piano.

  • Noteflight– An online editor that helps you compose complicated songs on sheet music! Read more about Noteflight and other online music editors here.
  • LilyPond– Free musical notation software that has so many features, including being compatible with MAC, pc, and Linux. Read about this amazing software here!
  • Absolute Sound Effects Archive– You may like to host your own podcast and need background music or sound effects. Here is a resource with many sounds for free!
  • Classik TV– Create music videos or films with subtitles! Russell Stannard recommended this as a top tool for students to make videos.
  • Audacity– For my Mac I use Garage Band for podcasting and creating music, but for my PC you can download Audacity for free! See Russell Stannard’s tutorial on using Audacity.
  • Musipedia– This website allows your students to edit any information on various tunes, melodies, and musical themes.  You can also whistle a tune or play the tune on a piano and Musipedia will identify the tune for you.
  • Copyright Friendly Wiki– Find creative common images and sounds for multimedia projects.
  • 30 + Places to Find Creative Commons Media– This has incredible sources for finding music.
  • Inudge– Cool tool to create music by selecting various sound patterns with your mouse.
  • Museeca– A search engine for music lovers. Search guitar tabs, mp3s, lyrics, ringtones, and music videos.

Art Resources

If you or your students are artists, then these websites will be helpful.

  • Animata– Free software for editing and creating brilliant animation films.

Reverse Shadow Theatre from gabor papp on Vimeo.

Challenge:

Dedicate time to something you enjoy doing aside from teaching or support your students’ creative hobbies with one of these resources!

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This is goal 15 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post with more details!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

Have you witnessed the power of creativity to inspire youth? Tell us about it!


Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

18 comments

  1. You are a veritable goldmine of great resources. Thank you for sharing them. Sketchcast sounds like a good idea for additional blog project work. btw sometimes that lone red blob in Vietnam on Neoplanet makes me feel a very long way from home! 🙂

    • Laura,

      I was wondering who the lone red blob was! Thank you for visiting. Just FYI when I last tried Sketchcast it was slow and wouldn’t always save my work. I’m hoping they fixed these problems, because it is a wonderful resource.

  2. Lovely list to browse, Shelly. I’m not using online tools with my current classes, but we’re taking an artsy approach to writing and storytelling using beautiful colored pencils and paper and making exhibitions and such. Very motivating in an evening class, when it’s cold and dark outside 🙂 Might get into online tools again if I find interested students.
    Anyway, thanks + have fun with these!
    Anne

  3. Twitter Magnets, what fun! I need to allow myself more time for creative outlets. I love working with my hands and creating, whether it be a meal, a scrapbook, crocheting, or writing. It is important to provide time for this, I thank you for reminding me of that.

  4. Shelly! You are so wonderful to research and share your findings with your PLN. Thank you, first of all, for being such a generous and approachable leader. You inspire me to be a better teacher. Thank you.

    Your list of gems here are so great! I can’t wait to try some of the new tools I can check out. One of the tools that is very useful for music students is JamStudio.com. It is a site where a teacher can apply for upgrade account for free and let students make music. I found it very useful for students to work on their music at home and for me keep track of their compositional progress. My 5th graders and I wrote a holiday song and had students create their track accompaniment through JamStudio. It was a huge hit at the concert.

    You are a wonderful colleague! I’m grateful for you.

    Yoon

  5. Even if I could get YouTube at school, the YuTube Piano site obviously does not prescreen it’s comments. Blatant vulgairity. Please beware that linking to this site could get you fired!

    • Barbara,

      There are sites like http://www.safeshare.tv/ and options like putting this on a Youtube channel or blog so teachers can use these sites. Students see vulgarity online everyday. I don’t believe that a good resource should not be used because others choose not to react responsibly. My institution wouldn’t fire me for comments I didn’t make because they realize I can’t control that. Instead, we should use these as opportunities to show our students how to act responsibly online.

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