Table of Contents:
About the Author
1. Value Your Creative Self
2. Enjoy Quiet
3. Gather Your Materials
4. Begin Your Project
6. Share Your Creations
7. Steadily Persist in Your Creative Work
Other Books by Pat Mora
Pat's Seven Creativity Symbols
Cultivate your own creativity and the creative potential of all your students!
Inventive teaching is an art form that enriches lives and transforms teachers and students. This beautifully written guide offers seven powerful practices for personal creativity and professional inventiveness. For each practice, author Pat Mora proposes a symbol and presents parallel exercises for teachers and students. Evocatively written in the form of letters to teachers and librarians, this book:
Helps educators access their creative selves and, in the process, become better teachers
Nurtures students in expressing themselves through writing and other creative pursuits.
"Written as a series of seven letters to teachers, this useful, insightful and inviting book encourages teachers to rediscover their creative and artistic energy in order to become more impassioned educators. Each chapter is thoughtfully written and includes project ideas that are meant to help teachers and students alike find and channel their aesthetic power through the writing process and other artistic endeavors. From quiet reflection and poetry to learning to cultivate and appreciate the language arts, this inventive book is a must-have for teachers and children’s services librarians who are looking to inject artfulness into their programs or curriculum. Readers will be left with renewed energy, plenty of wonderful ideas, and a stronger appreciation for artistic projects, the power of language, and cross-cultural understanding."—REFORMA Newsletter
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"Mora’s poetic voice, which describes her international travels and experiences as a cultural outsider, provides just enough encouragement and real-world sensibility to motivate teachers and librarians serving children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Opportunities for further exploration of the creative practices and writing invitations are provided throughout the book"—Jamie Campbell Naidoo, Ph.D., ¡Imagínense Libros! Blog
"Acclaimed children's book author Mora shares the habits of mind and behavior that have helped her nurture and tap into her creativity…
She writes directly to teachers within each chapter, first encouraging personal engagement with the practice and then offering ideas for how to help their students do the same. She believes that reconnecting with creativity will benefit the individual teacher, her/his students, and the communities in which the teacher participates. Not surprisingly, there is special emphasis on connecting with and supporting students and families from minority cultures who are struggling with the English language. The advice is clearly based on years of working with teachers, students, families and schools around writing and other forms of creativity and is a very personal account, similar to those of Annie Dillard (The Writing Life) and Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones). This would be a worthwhile addition to a teacher's professional development library. "—Children’s Literature
"The book has an informal tone ('Dear Teacher'), as if Mora were speaking to a friend. She said she worked hard to achieve that tone. 'And I have the great advantage that I am regularly inspired by incredibly committed teachers who generously share their ideas,' Mora said."—“Unleash the creativity inside of you” interview by David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal
"Zing! is a wonderful book that encourages others to be creative by sharing what has worked for Pat Mora in all of her creative efforts. "—Camila A. Alire, Dean Emeritus, University of New Mexico
"In a series of letters to teachers written with her signature poetic grace, Pat Mora gently reminds us of the potential in ourselves and our students while expanding our understanding of the writing process through metaphoric descriptions of other common creative acts. Zing! is a book to be savored, shared, and returned to for inspiration."—Lee Galda, Professor, University of Minnesota
"In this era of mandates, accountability, and adherence to canned curricula, Pat Mora reminds us that great educators are fueled by passion and creativity. Mora reflects on her experiences working with teachers and students across the country, challenges us to reflect on our own experiences, and inspires us to think and act in new and more powerful ways."—Gary Bloom, Superintendent , Santa Cruz City Schools, Soquel, CA
From the Learning Forward Indiana blog: "This book is a quick read, with Mora using her own creativity-cultivating chronology as the backdrop. She writes this book with each of the seven steps as chapters, focusing on her love of writing as her own art of creativity. Each chapter has two entries: one is a Mora memoir that shares how she crafts that practice, with the other being a letter specifically for teachers as to how they can blossom the practice in their students.
As Mora explores how to become more connected with our imaginative selves, the letters to teachers remind us about how writing – something often performed in schools – can be the best vehicle to helping students enhance their self images, explore their family histories, and uncover their unique goals and dreams.
When creativity is encouraged, Mora states, students discover and appreciate their individual gifts and talents. Gifts and talents they’re willing to share for the benefit of others. Gifts and talents that help our world become a better place."
Castle photos courtesy of Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Pietro Biraschi and Euro Vinti: www.civitella.org/about. On right, Pat and her husband, Vern Scarborough at Civitella Ranieri Castle.
It's hard to believe that in the summer of 2003, my husband Vern and I had the privilege of traveling to Umbria, Italy near Umbertide, and spending time working on our writing at Civitella. You can imagine how our jaws dropped when we arrived. Our shower was in one of the turrets! I describe our castle adventure in ZING, the manuscript I finished there. I also worked on some poems.