Inspiration is everywhere: 20+ creative teaching ideas

Can you find inspiration for cool lessons or activities in your every day life? We challenged ourselves to do that and found 20+ ideas to share with you!

Where can you find inspiration for a cool lesson or activity? Does it take a “bolt of lightning” creative moment, or can you find it in your everyday life?

I think it can be narrowed down to three words.

Inspiration is everywhere.

So, when I got together with South Carolina educators Matt Johnson and Jed Dearybury before a professional development event, we wanted to put that to the test.

We were in Dallas, Texas. After having some barbecue for lunch (because Dallas …), we gave ourselves a challenge.

We decided to walk around the neighborhood where the restaurant was and see if we could come up with cool, creative, engaging classroom and school ideas.

We had no idea what we would find, but we realized that inspiration indeed was everywhere.

Here are those inspired moments in video form …

1:31 — 1. Use a chalkboard to hook students into learning.

2:10 — 2. Notice science everywhere for experiments.

2:45 — 3. Create your own stickers for rewards or badges.

3:26 — 4. Make the most of blank walls with student-painted murals.

4:15 — 5. If it’s not a box, what could it be?

5:02 — 6. Repurpose materials into something unique.

5:38 — 7. Create a public space for things kids are proud of.

6:02 — 8. Make creations/creatures out of nature.

6:35 — 9. Envision the history behind something.

7:25 — 10. Turn frames into comic strips.

7:48 — 11. Invent a “history” for something old.

8:00 — 12. Share your ideas with other teachers!

8:22 — 13. Create a t-shirt related to your class/content.

8:57 — 14. Give new life to outdated objects.

9:54 — 15. Create thread/yarn art.

10:40 — 16. Make something that represents class content out of surprising material.

11:05 — 17. Pursue students’ curiosities!

11:27 — 18. See math problems in everyday things.

12:15 — 19. Add inspiration in unexpected places.

14:00 — 20. Create pixel art with sticky notes.

14:00 — 21. Make it a math problem! anticipate how many of each color you’ll need

14:42 — 22. Create fun seating from unexpected things.

Where do YOU find inspiration everywhere? Share some of your favorite examples in a comment here or on YouTube!

For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:

Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!

Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:

 DateEvent / Event DetailsCity / More Info
+ 04/25/2018
Connect ConferenceNiagra Falls, CA
+ 05/19/2018
Texas Google Summit with Kasey BellAustin, TX
+ 06/01/2018
MSD of MartinsvilleMartinsville, IN
+ 06/04/2018
Granbury ISDGranbury, TX
+ 06/05/2018
Columbus City SchoolsColumbus OH
+ 06/06/2018
School City of MishawakaMishawaka, IN
+ 06/07/2018
Lafayette eLearning ConferenceLafayette, IN
+ 06/12/2018
2nd Annual Learn, Explore, Adopt and Deliver (LEAD) ConferenceCleveland, OH
+ 06/13/2018
InnEdCoKeystone, CO
  Public Event
+ 06/19/2018
Tyler ISDTyler, TX
+ 06/20/2018
TransformED ConferenceWaco, TX
+ 06/21/2018
Barr-Reeve Jr/Sr High School- Washington Community SchoolsWashington, IN
  Public Event
+ 07/24/2018
Regional Math & Science ConferenceAmarillo, TX
+ 08/01/2018
Flipgrid Event + Evening Live StreamMinneapolis, MN
+ 08/02/2018
Virginia Beach SchoolsVirginia Beach, VA