Creativity Boosts the Brain and Promotes Learning

Popular beliefs about brain dominance suggest that it is the right-brain dominant people who are creative and artistic, while people who are left-brain dominant are logical and adaptable but not as creative.  According to research findings from cognitive neuroscientists, however, “Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain.”

Depending on what you are creating, different parts of the brain are called upon to do different things. For example, if your project involves language, the Broca and Wernicke areas of the brain, which are responsible for speech production and understanding written and spoken language, move into action.

It’s no wonder, then, that when your creativity is really flowing, you feel awake, focused and energized. Your entire brain is working during the creative process!

What does that mean for learning? Creativity involves critical thinking, planning and focusing your attention. Children learn through this process as different parts of the brain jump into action. They might discover something they never knew before, learn how to solve a problem, or figure out a new way to look at or do something. That is why physical movement and play time are so important for a young child’s imagination and creativity. Giving them time to move around, explore and experiment in their environment opens up creative and learning opportunities they might miss out on when confined to their chairs for too long.

There are many simple ways you can promote learning through creativity with your young learners. Ask open-ended questions to encourage discussion; get students up and moving to music; allow time for drawing, painting and other art activities; and role playing are just a few. In the following examples, teachers at Robbie Hall Parker Elementary, part of Clintondale Community School District in Michigan, allowed students to get creative with language they learned through GrapeSEED.

These kindergarten students used props to role play GrapeSEED Story Farmer and the Carrot from Unit 4.

These preschool students took language from GrapeSEED Unit One’s Shared Reading Big Book Red into the Art Center, creating their own artwork displaying red items they like.

These students painted a green hallway mural based on GrapeSEED’s Shared Reading Big Book Green from Unit 4.