Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Creative ability in children -- Iowa; Creative activities and seat work; Activity programs in education; Child psychology;


Creativity and problem solving are skills students need for success in the 21st century. With the increasing pressures of achieving higher student scores in emphasized content areas, teachers' instruction in science, social studies, music and art has been reduced to provide additional time for teaching reading and mathematics.These lost instructional areas often allowed students to express themselves creatively. Therefore, educators need to find a way to incorporate creativity into content areas like reading and mathematics.

This 16 week repeated measures study examined second grade students' academic and creative performance on figural transformation drawings during an extended reading-science-creativity integrated unit. A figural transformation is a drawing made to change a given simple geometric shape or squiggle into a recognizable picture, in this case, to convey nutrition ideas gleaned from the readings. Students were instructed in a new creativity skill each week, working under two weekly- alternating conditions, fiction and nonfiction nutrition readings, and two biweekly-alternating conditions, standard and enhanced lesson introductions, was examined. Research participants included 19 mixed ability second grade students in an intact classroom attending a rural elementary school in a Midwestern state.

Mean individual student scores for each creative trait or for nutrition content incorporated into the figural transformations for the eight weeks under each condition were compared through paired t-tests. The results of nonfiction and fiction reading conditions showed that students demonstrated more creative strengths, greater fluency of ideas, but no difference in nutrition knowledge during the weeks of the fiction condition. Regarding the standard and enhanced lesson introduction conditions, students demonstrated more creative strengths, fluency of ideas, and nutrition content knowledge during lessons with enhanced introductions.

Students also responded to surveys in which they rated perceived level of creativity, enjoyment of book, and enjoyment of making the figural transformations. Student-reported book enjoyment was significantly higher for fiction, with a medium effect size. Other compared survey responses were not statistically significant for both fiction and nonfiction condition comparisons and standard and enhanced lesson introduction comparisons. Students' perception of creativity and enjoyment of making the figural transformations remained high throughout the study, showing the efficacy of this approach.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Audrey C. Rule


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 113 pages)



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