Faculty Publications

Effects Of Teacher Lesson Introduction On Second Graders' Creativity In A Science/Literacy Integrated Unit On Health And Nutrition

Document Type



Creativity, Healthy, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Primary grade, Research, Science-reading integration, Subject integration, Teacher behavior

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Early Childhood Education Journal





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The focus on standardized testing in the areas of reading and mathematics in early elementary education often minimalizes science and the arts in the curriculum. The science topics of health and nutrition were integrated into the reading curriculum through read aloud books. Inclusion of creativity skills through figural transformation drawings allowed students to display nutrition comprehension, modeling how these subject areas can fit into a narrowed curriculum. This repeated measures study examined the weekly effect of teacher lesson introduction on 19 second grade students' (11 female, 8 male) creativity and content knowledge of nutrition under two conditions that alternated every 2 weeks over a 16-week period: a brief, positive, standard lesson introduction (control) compared to a more enhanced introduction promoting originality, risk-taking and persistence (experimental). Students listened to read-aloud books on nutrition and completed figural transformation drawings related to the stories. Findings showed that student work evidenced more creativity during the experimental condition with a very large effect size for breaking perceived boundaries; a large effect size for depicting movement in drawings; medium effect sizes for fluency, originality, storytelling articulateness, humor, wisdom, emotion, and total creative traits; and a small effect size for elaboration. Students also evidenced greater overall knowledge of health/nutrition content during the experimental condition with a small effect size. Small changes in the way a lesson was introduced had a significant impact on student knowledge and creative performance, indicating that early childhood teachers should implement similar lesson introductions to increase student creativity. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

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DOI of published version