Creative License

Goal: For students to understand the idea of 'creative license' and to feel comfortable taking risks during the residency.

Creative License
  • task

Creative License

Contributed by Elizabeth Argelia Leonard


For students to understand the idea of “creative license” and to feel comfortable taking risks during the residency.


  • Early in the residency, TA can give each student a folder for all of the work they create, any notes they make, and any other residency materials.
  • Explain the meaning of, “Creative License” and the idea that when we make art sometimes we, “break the rules”. We might come up with ideas that seem silly, or we might make up words or stories or songs or dances that seem weird, and all of that is ok.
  • Each student will be “granted” a license to create. TA will model the image of a license and the following statement: “This creative license gives me permission to use my words, drawings, feelings and body creatively.”
  • Each student will add this “license” to their folders with their name and an image they create of themselves in the photo square. Students will be invited to draw images that represent them, things they love, that make them happy, etc.
  • Give students time to share their “licenses” at the end of the activity. Students can share what they have created, either from their seats or at the front of the room.

Transition into Activity

TA might share a silly line of poetry that doesn’t follow the “rules” of grammatical construction and then explain “creative license”.

Transition out of Activity

When everyone has shared, the group can celebrate the work they have seen by dancing, applause, high fives, making silly faces, a big group “woohoo,” etc. to close out before moving on to the next activity.

Classroom Arrangement

TA at the front of the room while explaining the terms and modeling, with students at their seats. During individual work, TA and Classroom Professionals can circulate to support students. Students can work at their seats or if this is available to them, at the meeting center.

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • For younger students, TA can check for understanding of the words: license and permission.
  • TA might have a pre-drawn or pre-printed image of a license for students who are not able to draw one because of restrictions of movement, and/or for students who need more encouragement and might feel like they’ve “failed” if they don’t draw the license “correctly”. This can then be stapled/glued to the folders afterward.
  • For students who are not able to write the statement, TA can have that on the pre-printed sheets as well.
  • TA can provide stickers, emojis, etc. for students to use if drawing symbols and images is unavailable.

Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals

  •  Support students with drawing and writing as needed.

Remote Adaptation

TA can lead this activity for the first slide of a google slideshow and create a slideshow for each student where they can create/gather their work. TA can screen-share to model the activity and then have students work on their own slideshows. TA can place students in breakout rooms so that the educators in the “room” can support small groups of students. Students can share their work by sharing their screens, and classmates can support each other using the reaction buttons and/or by writing shout-outs in the chat.