PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY


Spring greetings to all the families at BSI! I hope you are taking in as much sunshine as you possibly can in between the raindrops! In the meantime, I wanted to answer a question that a parent recently asked me, “What is Creative Arts at BSI? “

Grades 3-4 receive Creative Arts 1x per week. In Creative Arts, we integrate a response to literature with choice time. The goal is to give kids the freedom to respond to a story, book, or poem, in a variety of ways. I read aloud a book. Then we share ideas about all the different things kids can create. The kids are then invited to come up with a brief plan and then choose a center. They can create anything they like, as long as it relates to the story. The key is that it must relate to the story.

Here are some of their current center choices:

  • Comic Strip Center: Create a scene from the story, a sequel or get inspired and home spin your own idea
  • Art Center: All kinds of art materials are available to create anything you like that relates to the story
  • Poetry Center: Write a poem or song! There are magnetic letters, poetry paper, fancy writing utensils, etc.
  • Origami Center: Instruction books and paper are available for your folding delight!
  • Lego Center: Build anything you like that relates to the story

Here’s how it works:

  • Week one: Kids listen to a read aloud and then make a brief written plan about what they’d like to create. The plan is often only a sentence long. Just state what you’d like to make and in what center you’d like to make it.
  • Week two: CREATE….work by yourself or with some friends, use your plan or change it if you feel inspired…just CREATE!
  • Week three: Reflect in writing on your creative process. Tell us what you made and how it relates to the story? How did you make it? Was there a challenge? If so, how did you work through it? Then we share our reflections on the creative process.

Recently, I stumbled on a great picture book biography of George Washington.  Between my love of our early American heroes and the fact that here at BSI, our kids are totally steeped in the Revolutionary War with Ms. Stewart, it was perfect. I knew the 4th graders would love it. What I didn’t know was that even the 3rd graders were begging me to finish it as we were running out of time!

Fast forward to CREATIVE day. The kids created Lego models of the Redcoats and the Americans. There was a black paper cannon that could shoot a cannonball across the room.   Washington crossing the Delaware came to life in a Lego boat complete with blue men and oars and in a paper version where George moved up and down in the boat giving his men orders. There were paper cemeteries to remember lives lost. I could go on!

Before we leave for our nice spring break, I just wanted you to know that creativity is alive and well here at BSI! And we truly hope it is in your life, too.

Have a wonderful vacation!

We hope you enjoy these pictures from Creative Arts.


Ms. Griner

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Paper battlefield of the Redcoats and the Americans

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George Washington’s home in Mount Vernonphoto (5)photo (7)photo (8)photo (9)