Lazy or clever – creativity in task design

I have seen two different items on the Internet recently, and I have formed a link between the two. I’ll pop them here and let you see if you can find the link…

First, this image that turned up on my Facebook feed

very clever stuff, and certainly the type of thing I like seeing on my feed when I am desperately seeking distraction from reality. Second, this video that came up in my Twitter feed (via @SunnySouth12)

It’s amazing what kids can do if we give them the chance, isn’t it?

Can you think of the link? What connected these two things in my mind was the old maxim, less is more. Now, the Navy officer is hardly  someone to idolise, but his laziness showed there is always more than one way to solve a problem. I would argue that the gross effort required to reroute a ship, as opposed to shifting oneself down the bench a little negates the creative effort, but it cannot be denied that creativity is present.

The clip involves children engaging in Art activities, and clearly demonstrates the nature of children to engage their creativity more freely when they feel there is no consequence for ‘getting it wrong’.

This got me thinking about my students – how much amazing material are they not producing, because they are afraid that it will be ‘wrong’? Hopefully very little, as I try to make my kids feel comfortable in that regard, but a lot can be said for task design. How can I design my instructions to students so that it maximises their inclination to be creative? Do I get too caught up in multiple curriculum considerations, that I lose sight of the forest through the trees? This is going to be a goal of mine, moving forward.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has given this extensive thought.