Creative Studying Techniques Increase Grades and Interest: 3 - Using t
Jul 5, 2011 Learning Methodology 2703 Views
If you think school, or a particular class is boring, then I challenge you to make it more interesting. Certainly if you were more interested you would pay more attention, spend more time studying and improve your performance. You would also be more interested if studying was not always the same routine and involved other ways of thinking and behaving than simply sitting and reading, or falling asleep over, a textbook. A creative studying technique that can help you increase grades and interest is to use the arts in class and in studying.
I'm sure you've heard that there are different types of learners. Some people are visual, some auditory and some kinesthetic learners. The arts offer many opportunities to explore these different modalities and to combine them into effective ways to learn.
For so-called 'creative' people, it is somewhat second nature to take an artistic approach to learning, but anyone can experiment with these ideas and through practice adapt these methods into regular studying and learning. Remember that the goal here is to improve your learning and increase your interest, NOT to create a masterpiece. To benefit from the following ideas you will have to move beyond thoughts like, "I can't draw / sing / write, etc." Again, this is not about becoming an artist, simply about engaging more of your brain, yourself and your interest in your studies.
Try the following techniques for using the arts to enhance learning. The common ground between the ideas is that they all require you to think a little differently about the material. Pretend that it is interesting enough to invest some thought in and it will become interesting.
A) Write stories about what you are learning.
1) Use actual people you are learning about as characters in a story.
2) Employ vocabulary words to describe the characters or as the characters.
3) Change things or parts of processes you are learning about into characters.
B) Use all of the above ideas but write an actual script and then act it out with classmates. Videotape your performance for further studying or perhaps extra credit.
C) Write limericks. Here is an example to remind you of the rhyme scheme.
Independence began in 1776
Concord farmers using fire sticks
They fought British oppression
With uncommon aggression
And occasional tea and tax tricks
Limericks often begin with:
There once was a man/woman from (some place).....
D) Give names to the elements, parts, or vocabulary of what you are learning.
1) Use rhymes.
2) Try to make the names funny, as humor makes them more memorable.
II) Visual arts
A) Draw pictures of what you are learning.
B) Watercolor over pictures you download from the internet.
C) Label pictures you find using different colors to signify different categories or functions.
D) Find what you are studying in paintings. Find paintings that represent what you are learning about.
A) Find background music you think appropriate to certain pathways, processes, or events you've learned about.
B) Write music to accompany what is being studied.
1) Write songs to familiar tunes like the 12 Days of Christmas or some favorite pop tune.
2) Write original songs that assist with memorization or comprehension.
3) Along with a group of classmates, make music videos of your songs.
A) Invent dances that mimic a process or pathway.
B) Invent dances that go with your songs making sure to think about how the movements you choose reflect on or teach the topic.
Using the arts to enhance learning can make you much more interested in the material. This is probably especially true if you work in groups. Make a party out of your endeavors and try to share it with the rest of your class. If you share your artistic efforts, maybe they'll share theirs and you can all learn from each other. For more creative studying techniques, look for my other articles. My name is Lisa Jones Bromfield and I am an RN, a musician and a former special education teacher. If you or anyone you know is taking human anatomy & physiology, check out my original songs that teach anatomy & physiology. Click here http://anatomyphysiologystudyguide.com/wp-content/fbones01/ for a free download of the song, Give Me Some Bones, a song that teaches bone physiology and nomenclature. Now get out there and be a creative, interested student!