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Teaching Creativity with Elephants Can Paint Too! 

by Katya Arnold

Grades: K-2

CASEL Standard: Self-Awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts.

Character Education Lesson Objective: To understand what creativity is and how to express it


Part 1:

  • What does it mean to be creative? Being creative means that you use your imagination and come up with new ideas.
  • You can be creative when you are writing, when you are making up games, when you are telling stories or when you are creating art.
  • Raise your hand if you enjoy being creative. Being creative can be scary for some people because there are no rules and everyone does something different.
  • I am going give you a worksheet that has circles on it. You are going to use your creativity and create anything that you can think of using the circles.
  • After you are done, you will all have a chance to share.
  • Ask the students to share what was difficult about being creative.
  • When you are being creative, there is no right or wrong way to do something, which can be very hard. You need to be confident in what you are doing.
  • You did a great job being creative!

Part 2:

  • We are going to be reading a book called, Elephants Can Paint Too! by Katya Arnold.
  • Read the book.
  • The elephants and children in the book were being creative, just like you where when you created a picture out of the circles.
  • Did you learn anything new about elephants that you did not already know?
  • There are many different ways that both people and elephants hold paintbrushes, just like there are many different ways that both people and elephants paint.
  • The book says, “Everyone has their own style.” What does that mean?
  • How do you feel when you have created something that you are proud of? Do you think the elephants feel the same way when they are done being creative?

Part 3:

  • We know that elephants and people can both be creative. Do you think there are other animals that could be creative and create art?
  • You are going to be creative and write a story about another animal that uses a paintbrush. What type of animal do you think would be fun to see painting?
  • I am going to give you a worksheet. Write a story about an animal who paints and then draw a picture of that animal painting. Have fun with the story and be creative!
  • When you are done writing, you will be able to share your story.
  • After the students complete their stories and drawings, allow the students to share. Praise all of the students for being creative and tell them that they should be proud of their work.


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Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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