Inspired by Debbie Diller’s book, Literacy Work Stations, I implemented a ‘Creation Station’ in my classroom. I am firm believer in the arts, however, I do not believe in “fluff.” I would never let my students color a bunny, for example, because it was Easter. However, I do believe that using the arts can create powerful links to learning.
In my classroom, the Creation Station is a box filled with watercolor paints, Popsicle sticks, ziploc baggies, scissors, a hole punch, pipe cleaners, and many different kinds/colors of paper. I am using the Creation Station as a link to literacy. (See the Fairy Tale Unit for a detailed example.) The creation station can be used to create puppets for retelling stories (as described in the Fairy Tale Unit). It can also be used to make connections to spelling. I use the Rebbecca Sitton Spelling Program in my classroom. The spelling tests are stories that have missing spelling words to be filled in by students. The stories are centered around different themes. For example, the title of the story in unit 9 is called straw painting. During this unit at the Creation Station, students get to make a story called “How to Make a Straw Painting” and illustrate it with their own straw paintings. Students could also create a homophone memory game, a past tense/present tense book with irregular verbs, or a noun book at the Creation Station.
Using an 8×10 clear acrylic frame (which can be found at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or the Dollar Store), you can create a “Special Feature” at the Creation Station in order to highlight new learning throughout the year. Just type your instructions and slide it into the frame for a new instructional focus in order to keep learning at the Creation Station from becoming “fluff.”