Creative Project Ideas to Inspire Your Students

Creative Project Ideas to Inspire Your Students

Draven Jackson
Blogger | Teacher

As many teachers know, one of the hardest parts about creating a syllabus for the year is thinking of creative project ideas or interesting lessons that will keep students engaged and active. It’s nearly impossible to keep all your students’ interest with every single assignment, but it’s good to incorporate a plethora of lesson types into your classes in order to try and provide your students with a little variety in their projects and class work.

If you’re a teacher looking for more creative project ideas to incorporate into your classes or a parent who wants to challenge their children a little more at home, here are some project prompts or essay questions that you can use to create interesting, fun assignments for your students to work on! Not only will they keep the student engaged in the assignment, but the students will also learn a lot of interesting new facts about history and art that maybe they didn’t know before!

If you could have dinner with any famous leader, hero, or role model throughout history, who would it be? Write an essay about the person you chose and what the dinner would be like.

One of my favorite creative project ideas is the “If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be?” question prompt. In a casual conversation, this is simply a fun icebreaker that will open the gate for interesting conversations. However, it is possible to turn this question into a larger project and give your students an interesting topic to write an essay on.

First, challenge your students to think of one leader, hero, or role model throughout history whom they admire or would like to have a conversation with. Then, have them consider what kind of conversation they would have with this person. Would it be similar to an interview where they could ask this person all the questions they want to know the answers to? Or would it be more casual, a situation where they can chat with this person and learn more about who they are as an individual?

Have your students write a short essay about how they think the conversation would go, and (if time is willing) allow them to present their thoughts to the class.

Create a presentation on a prominent but often overlooked moment in history.

History is full of countless moments, many of which are often overlooked or forgotten, so if you need more creative project ideas to help inspire your students, consider having them research one of these moments in history and create a presentation about it. Encourage them to use visual aids and go as big as they want to on the presentation they create.

The historical moment that they choose doesn’t have to be limited to simply what’s in their history class – it can be an artistic movement or the birth of a musical genre. They simply have to choose one that’s less well-known and often overlooked. This project is interesting because not only will it be something different that will help keep them invested in their work, but it will also be fun for you as the teacher or parent to get to see the moment in history they chose.

Choose an artistic movement and try to create your own version of the art from that time.

One of the best creative project ideas for art classes or extra lessons, this assignment encourages your students to choose an artistic movement in history and try to create their own version of art from that time. They can either allow the movement to inspire them to make an original piece, or they can take a classic example from that time period and recreate it in their own style.

Allow your students to have fun with this assignment and play with the art piece they present, but also encourage them to do a little research into the movement and write a short essay about it. They can talk about the stylistic choices artists made when creating art and what they mean, or they can get into famous artists and pieces and how they embody the movement as a whole.

While creating the art itself will be fun and inspiring to your students, having them submit a short essay to go along with it also allows them to do research into the history of the art they’re imitating and learn more about how art changes and how it is affected by the society at the time.

Compare a genre of music that was in history to a modern genre.

Another fun assignment for teachers looking for new, creative project ideas, ask your students to choose a historical genre of music and compare it to a popular style of music today. They can choose any historical genre they want – jazz, classical, disco – and look at famous songs, artists, or stylistic choices for that genre.

Then, they will choose a modern style of music – like EDM, alt-rock, or k-pop – and compare it to the first genre. How is today’s music different from the older genre? How is it the same? If they don’t want to choose two different genres, that’s alright – they can also look at the way one genre of music has evolved into something new and different. How is rock-and-roll in the 60s different from rock now? How has K-pop changed since the 1990s?

Students will then use their research and thoughts to write an essay or create a presentation comparing their two genres of music. If they have time, allow them to present their thoughts to the class and start a discussion with the other students.

Write a short story from the perspective of a “villain” from a classic literary piece.

One of the best creative project ideas for literature or creative writing classes, you can have your students choose a classic literary piece and write a short story from the perspective of the “villain.” Is the villain someone they empathize with and try to make more relatable, or is it someone who has no redeeming qualities, so that even their internal monologue is dark and difficult to connect with?

Not only is this a fun creative writing assignment, but it also forces students to look at a story from a different perspective and consider how other people may be thinking or reacting to the actions in the novel. If you want to branch out even further and broaden the parameters of the project, allow your students to choose any character from the book other than the leads and write from that character’s perspective. It will be interesting to see what kind of character your student chooses and how they think that character would react to the actions taking place.

Do you have other creative project ideas to inspire students? Tell us in the comments!

Draven Jackson HeadshotAbout Draven Jackson

Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.

To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.


6 Comments on “Creative Project Ideas to Inspire Your Students”

  1. These are great and very creative ideas. I liked the idea of writing about who you would like to have dinner with. living or dead. It is a great opportunity to find interesting characters from the past. I always wished I was better at writing essays.

  2. There is no denying that this article of yours is extremely helpful. I have had better communication when teaching my children to learn at home.

  3. I love the idea about creating a version of art from an art movement especially for my daughter who shown quite the artistic ability with her school projects. I can imagine her creating her own vision of the Andy Warhol era.

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