At Gymnazium Zlin, the art department was very well resources and was an obvious strength of the school. We decided to use this strength to develop a lesson from our research looking at “what is a house? What is a home?”.

The lesson was particularly focusing on personal development, what is an excellent teacher and leadership & Role Models. In relation to a subject where imagination and creativity is essential, we wanted to explore how teachers can facilitate students creativity. Can teachers help their students to express their talents? Is creativity something which can be taught? How does being able to express your ideas & creativity impact on the students personally and academically?

The lesson was designed not only with these questions in mind but also with the three aims,
1- to explore the meaning behind the words house and home
2- Challenge the students ability and creativity
3- Encourage students to formulate their interpretation into a creative piece.

The Lesson Design
- The lesson began with a short introduction: who are we?
Why are we here?
- The students were then shown the “what is a house? What is a home?” video
- This was followed by a class discussion about their interpretations and opinions on what makes a house and home.
- The class was then split in half with one half getting the topic house and the other home. In these groups they had to create a piece of art work which represented their topic. They were given an hour to use many resources supplied in the class such as fabric, cardboard, pens, paints, crayons, paper etc.
- After one hour of creativity, the groups had to present their work to each other and explain the reasoning behind their designs.

We were given the opportunity to carry out this project with two classes of 15 students in the same grade. The first lesson took place in the early afternoon and the second was first period the following day. Despite being the same lesson with the same age, same number of students and same teachers, the lessons differed in success. The first lesson ran very smoothly with the students showing a lot of enthusiasm and creativity. The teacher was very much a facilitator, only needing to give guidance where necessary. The second lesson required the teacher to be far more predominant encouraging the students to participate and to trigger their creativity. Both lessons produced very unique pieces of work that were impressive. The first lesson ran on time but the second lesson only just managed to complete the task in time.

Through carrying out this lesson twice, we were able to see how unpredictable a lesson can be. The teachers enthusiasm and drive is essential to keep the students focused driven when they need lack motivation. When they have the drive it instantly became obvious an impact the students can have on their own education.

This particular project was evaluated by the students. Each class was asked to answer a brief questionnaire on their thoughts on the lesson and where they would rate it on a scale of 1-10 (1 being bad and 10 being good).

Rating results

These results were taken from 27 students evaluation sheets.
~18.5% of both classes rated the lesson 5 or below.
~14% of both classes rated the project at number 6 or 7.
~30% of both classes rated the project at number 8.
~18% of both classes rated the project at number 9.
~14% of both classes rated the project at number 10.

Overall, this rich task was very interesting to carry out was extremely useful as an example of how important a teachers guidance is within a lesson. We very much appreciated being given the opportunity to work with both art classes and we would like to thank all students and staff for working with us.