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Connecting Through Creativity

3 Ways Creativity Helps Complex Learners Connect

In a year filled with Zoom gatherings, air hugs, and distance learning – we have all been challenged to find new ways of connecting. Connecting with others and the world around us is key for our own happiness and success. But finding ways to connect during a global pandemic can feel impossible. This is even more true for Complex Learners, or students with multiple learning differences, who may already struggle socially and may be more at risk for isolation.

For students at the Wolf School, art has offered them a way of connecting this year even while behind masks and socially distanced. As Wolf’s art teacher, Keri King, puts it – “Art offers us exciting new ways of expressing ourselves and opens up all kinds of possibilities for connecting with the world around us. In a year of pods, hybrid classrooms, and social distancing, we value this even more than ever!”

Exploring their creative side has numerous benefits for Complex Learners but this year, it’s also been crucial in helping students discover those deeper connections to others that helps enrich their own lives. Here are 3 ways creativity helps Complex Learners with connection!

1. New Perspective

Whether it’s admiring someone else’s artwork or exploring a new way of looking at things for their own project, creativity lends itself to new perspectives. This is especially important for Complex Learners, many of whom are rigid thinkers and may struggle with understanding new perspectives. While exploring their creative side, it may be easier for Complex Learners to practice more flexible thinking since they are participating in a fun activity with peers without pressure or fear of failure.

2. Collaboration

Through brainstorming as a group, sharing work with peers, or simply working together on a project, collaboration is a frequent occurrence in art class! Collaborating through art is not only fun but it helps Complex Learners develop social skills like listening and responding appropriately to others. For some children, this may even help them discover their own voice as they become eager to share their work with friends and explain the intent behind their creative pieces!

3. Appreciation and Confidence

When we engage in capturing the world around us creatively, we discover an appreciation for it. Creativity helps to connect us to the world around us when we’re capturing the intricate details of a snowflake or sketching a beloved family pet – we notice those little details that we so often might miss.

For students so often used to struggling in school, art provides a safe environment where they get to grow, create, and explore without fear of failure. With stress and anxiety already high due to the unusual circumstances of this school year, this is beyond valuable for Complex Learners and can lead to an increase in self-esteem and confidence!

Whether it’s new connections or newfound confidence – there are a million reasons to celebrate creativity! We love having the chance to celebrate our students’ creativity this year at our Virtual Art Show on thewolfschool.org! Be sure to check it out to join in the celebration!

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