The Link: International Creativity Month

Creativity is reflected in human innovation and problem-solving endeavors throughout history. It is present in arts, education, technology, science, and in almost everything we do.  Creativity encourages children’s curiosity and helps them learn to think independently and critically. For adults, creativity inspires innovation, progress, and joy.  As we evolve as a species, creativity helps us evolve as a society.

January is International Creativity Month. Founded by motivational speaker and author Randall Munson, International Creativity Month is geared towards celebrating the power of creativity across the globe. Sources in this month’s newsletter illustrate how creativity is implemented in workplaces, in education, with food, with children, and across cultures.

Creativity in Work

100 Ways to Be More Creative at Work  

 Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

Arianna Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of ten books. She has done numerous guest spots on political talk shows and news shows. Her blog attracts many well-known political figures and celebrities who comment on various events around the nation. In the Huff Post business section, readers learn how to express creativity in their jobs by reading the list of 100 examples on how to use creativity in the workplace.

5 Benefits Of Hiring Creative Employees

NEW! Careerealism

Careerealism was founded in 2009 on the idea of helping people solve their career and job search problems. The site evaluates and approves all contributors to ensure their content is cutting-edge and relevant. There are many ways to use creativity in the workplace, but what are the benefits of hiring creative employees? It is important to understand what creative people can do for a company and how these people can make a business even better. This article provides information on the benefits of hiring creative people in the workplace.

Motivating Creativity at Work: The Necessity of Others is the Mother of Invention

American Psychological Association (find it on the ipl2)

The American Psychological Association is a Scientific and professional organization representing psychologists in the U.S. It promotes health, education, and human welfare. This article explains how connecting employees to end users and encouraging pro-social motivation can create a more creative work environment. For instance, creating events, circulating stories between employees and end users, along with collecting data on end users perspectives allows employees to become motivated to share creativity with future projects.

12 Ways to Be More Creative at Work

U.S. News Online (find it on the ipl2)

This site from US News and World Report contains a lot of free content. The World Report financial section discusses 12 in depth ways to be more creative at work. Some of the examples included in the article are embracing diversity, thinking like a boss, branching out, and writing your ideas down. The article helps working individuals understand that everyone needs to add creativity to their working environment.

12 Ways Tech Companies Boost Creativity Technology (find it on the ipl2) Technology is the premiere U.S. publication for entrepreneurship. The site provides hands-on advice, case studies, and big-picture overviews on the state of small business in the U.S. In this slide show of companies, users receive an inside look at the ways tech companies are boosting creativity on a daily basis.

Creativity in Education

Student Creativity and the Common Core

NEW! Catapult Learning

Student Creativity and the Common Core is an article provided by Catapult Learning, which is an organization dedicated to helping struggling students in K-12 improve their academic achievements. This source explains how students across America in K-12 compete globally through common core by encouraging students to think creatively and innovatively.

The Lego Foundation (find it on the ipl2)

The Lego Foundations and the Lego Group aim to encourage children to become future builders through the action of play. The Lego Foundations suggests that through play children are able to develop their skills as creative problem solvers, cultivate critical thinking, and establish a routine of collaboration. The Lego Foundation sponsors many international projects, from the World Robot Olympiad in Malaysia to robotics classes in Rural India, and from lectures on sustainable living in Copenhagen to creating global programs for children in environmental development. The Lego Foundation believes that play is training for the unexpected and attempts to give that training to children around the globe.

30 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Classroom 

NEW! Innovation Excellence

This article discusses the research of creativity in education performed by Sir Ken Robinson, David Hughes, and E. Paul Torrance, all of whom are advocates for more creative educational environments. The article offers 30 suggestions that could cultivate creativity in the classroom ranging from embracing creativity as a part of learning, the use of emotional connections to create ties to the classroom material, the use convergent and divergent thinking when creating assignments, to simply giving students time to ask questions, among many others. The majority of these suggestions illustrate the value of creativity in the classroom.

22 Simple Ideas for Harnessing Creativity in the Elementary Classroom

Edutopia (find it on the ipl2)

Trisha Richie is a kindergarten teacher who offers 22 simple ideas for using young student’s natural creativity to encourage learning and increase comprehension. She categorizes her ideas into game learning, artsy activities, creative activities for science, students’ favorite things, and using creative time savers. Riche illustrates that creativity teaches students at young ages the art of innovation, thinking outside the box, improvisation, the benefits of taking risks, how to break the mold, and gives educators the chance of professional growth.

The Relevance of Creativity in Education

NEW! Johns Hopkins School of Education

Dr.Rosa Aurora Chavez-Eakle is the founder of the Washington International Center for Creativity and works for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Council for the Gifted and talented. In the article “The Relevance of Creativity in Education” written for John’s Hopkins University, Chavez-Eakle discusses creativity, how it affects the brain and a person’s temperament, and how creativity can help childhood development for children. Chavez-Eakle suggests that the key to providing quality education is creativity.

The Art Junction (find it on the ipl2)

Art Junction is a website that promotes student arts and collaborative art making online through Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo and video sharing, social networks, and virtually. Art Junction experiments with promoting art education through web 2.0, to create Art Education 2.0.

Creativity and Food

National Geographic: Photo Gallery: Photographing Food

National Geographic (find it on the ipl2)

Learn how to find and set up creative photographs of food. This National Geographic photo gallery of gorgeous and intriguing images offers tips and advice for capturing the stories and moments surrounding food.

The Food Museum (find it on the ipl2)

Explore the eclectic FOOD Museum for articles, videos and links to discover the creative things people are doing and have done all around the world with food, about food, and to food. From vegetable gardens, to food-inspired camper vans, to a performance of “Food, Glorious Food” from the musical, Oliver, you will find inspiring ideas for getting creative with food and the FOOD Museum!

NEW! Incredible, Edible Crafts

Learn how to make creative candy bouquets and interesting fruit and vegetable arrangements on this homey and informative site. There are also recipes and instructions for food crafts for children, creative food garnishes, and helpful tips for fun food presentation.

Food in the Arts (find it on the ipl2)

This site provides a survey of the creative arts in connection with food. Themes include food in movies, music, literature, and art. Includes short essays on topics such as the movie “Like Water for Chocolate,” food in Puccini’s opera “La Bohème,” Hemingway and food, poverty, and still life paintings of food.

Poems About: Food (find it on the ipl2)

Visit this section on to discover hundreds of creative poems, classic and modern, about food. This collection of poetry is broadly representative and useful for information, reference and research.

Creativity and Children

Kid’s Crafts (find it on the ipl2)

The ipl2 provides an extensive list of resources focused on crafts for children. There are links to sites that offer free coloring pages, instructions for crafts, things to do with friends and family, and much more.

PBS Parents Creativity

NEW! PBS Parents

This site from the Public Broadcasting Company offers all kinds of resources for parents to help their children explore their creative side. The site is divided into sections to help parents find the right activities. There are plenty of hints, tips, games, activities, and more for both children and parents to use online and offline.

Art Safari (find it on the ipl2)

Part of the Museum of Modern Art’s website, this activity walks children through paintings and lets them explore and create stories as well as learn about the history behind some famous paintings.

Writing with Writers: Poetry (find it on the ipl2)

Listen to poets read their poems aloud, print up activity worksheets, or write and share your own poetry! This Scholastic site has resources for children, parents, and teachers. It also offers hints from famous children poets like Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo.

The Lemelson Center for Invention and Innovation (find it on the ipl2)

This site offers resources for young people and curiosity seekers of all ages. There are videos and audio files as well as stories about inventions, articles, printables, and classroom activities. Anyone who wants to know more about inventions and how creativity has helped push people to make the world a better place will enjoy browsing all of the interesting parts of this site.

Creativity Across Cultures

Creativity Across Cultures (find it on the ipl2)

This source provides a PowerPoint created by Jingya Huang, Danielle Latta and Katie McCarney at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, in which they explain what creativity is, how it differs between Eastern and Western cultures, how different cultures use creativity differently in advertising, the process models for creativity, and how creativity affects society.

Understanding Creativity, Across Sectors and Across Cultures


The CREATIVE project is an EU funded research venture that analyzes creativity across cultures. The Project is led by Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. They will first document cultural differences in five different countries, then analyze reasoning skills when solving complex problems, then by analyzing the result they are able to create models for business or to encourage development. covers how professionals are applying creativity and innovation to the fields of science, technology, and medicine.

Why Diversity is the Mother of Creativity

NEW! Innovation Management

Innovation Management is a current and professional website that discusses how creativity can cultivate innovation in multiple disciplines. It provides informative articles written by international professionals in the fields of marketing, public relations, communications, consulting, and education. This article looks at how professional diversity can encourage creativity, creative thinking, and problem solving in people’s personal lives, on team projects, in companies, and how managers can coordinate creativity in team members.


The Link: National Poetry Month

Since its introduction by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, literature lovers across the United States have celebrated National Poetry Month in April.  Join us as we explore the many facets of this form!

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Teaching Poetry: Lesson Plans and More

Chalk poem detail, suburban Heathridge backyard, Western Australia. Photo by elliot k, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Chalk poem detail, suburban Heathridge backyard, Western Australia. Photo by elliot k, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Many people can be easily intimidated by poetry, but it can be a great learning activity. Learn more about this powerful art form by reading great works and finding your inner voice. Whether you are a teacher, instructor, parent, or student, here is a collection of creative ways to appreciate, internalize, replicate, and create poetry.

Poetry (Learn NC) (find it on the ipl2)

Learn NC is maintained by the UNC School of Education at the University of North Carolina, and it features a collection of lesson plans for grades K-12 that align with state and national teaching standards. The poetry lessons span all grades and levels and encourage students to define poetry, analyze works for poetic elements, and create their own portfolios. (find it on the ipl2)

The Academy of American Poets presents, an extensive collection of poems cataloged by poet and topic. There is also a For Educators tab which contains tips for teaching poetry, lesson plans, and other resources. Other great features include Poem-A-Day, a free daily e-newsletter that users can sign up for, and an events calendar that shows poetry events happening in your area.

NEW! ReadWriteThink is maintained by the International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English. There is an abundance of classroom resources for poetry found here including lesson plans, activities, projects, and bulletin board ideas. All lessons align with the Common Core of Learning standards. An additional benefit is that many of the lesson plans address students of varying abilities and needs and include links to audio recordings and videos.

Civil War Poetry

Thousands of poems were written about the Civil War by citizens and soldiers of both the Union and the Confederacy. “These poems enable us to better understand the role of poetry during the war years and how poetry helped unify citizens, inspire troops, memorialize the dead, and bind the nation’s wounds in the aftermath of the war.” The Library of Congress has some excellent resources and examples of the 7 “types” of Civil War poetry and can be accessed here:

Poetry and Music of the War Between the States (find it on the ipl2)

This is a collection of full-text Union and Confederate poetry and songs indexed by title, author, and first line. Information about some of the authors is available. Find lyrics, sound files, a history of Taps and Civil War Band Music, popular songs of the day, links to other sound files, and a discussion of “How Authentic Should Period Music Be?”

Henry Timrod: 1828–1867 (find it on the ipl2)

The Poetry Foundation website provides a lengthy biography of Timrod, as well as references, poems, and articles, including how Bob Dylan even weaved Henry Timrod’s phrases into songs on his “Modern Times” album in 1986. Henry Timrod (1828-1867), after limited success as a poet (publishing just one volume of works prior to the Civil War), became widely known as the “so-called poet laureate of the Confederacy,” after having his poetic imagination aroused by the possibility of the formation of a new nation, as well as the war’s impact.

Herman Melville (find it on the ipl2) provides several of Herman Melville’s poems, related prose and external links, as well a selected bibliography of his works. On the Union side, Herman Melville (1819-1891) was nearing the end of his novel-writing career due to poor reception by critics and had stopped writing fiction altogether. The Civil War had a profound impact on Melville, with many of his family members involved in some aspect of it, and the war not only revived his writing spirit, but it became the main subject of his poetry. He made trips to Washington D.C. and even to the front lines with his brother to gather the sounds and sights of conflict for his verse.

Nursery Rhymes

Illustrations are by William Wallace Denslow from the book, “Denslow’s Mother Goose” (1902). Illustrations are left to right: Hey Diddle Diddle, Hickety Dickety Dock, and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.

Illustrations are by William Wallace Denslow from the book, “Denslow’s Mother Goose” (1902). Illustrations are left to right: Hey! Diddle, Diddle, Hickety, Dickety, Dock, and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.

Nursery rhymes are short, rhyming stories often set to music for young children. Hallmarks include simple vocabulary and catchy rhymes; these make them good learning tools to help build children’s vocabularies. The majority of nursery rhymes date from the 16th – 18th centuries from Europe, especially Britain. They often serve as an oral record of important political and historical events. Check out these resources for more information on nursery rhymes.

Nursery Rhymes ipl2 Pathfinder (find it on the ipl2)

This ipl2 pathfinder covers one of England’s most enduring forms of oral culture: the nursery rhyme. Although we often take these funny little ditties for granted, some of them have been around since the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and were originally composed for adult entertainment. Both print and Internet sources are provided in this resource.

NEW! The Mother Goose Club Rhymes

This site includes many nursery rhymes with illustrations set to music. The Parents’ Pages include historical background information about each rhyme and different known versions of the rhyme.

The Reason Behind the Rhyme from NPR’s All Things Considered (find it on the ipl2)

Radio clips of Chris Roberts, the author of “Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme” and librarian of Lambeth College in South London, telling Debbie Elliott what lurks beneath the surface of several nursery rhymes we learned as children.

Poetry for Children

Abroad by Thomas Crane and Ellen Houghton. A children's book of poetry describing places, published in 1882.

Abroad by Thomas Crane and Ellen Houghton. A children’s book of poetry describing places, published in 1882.

Kids love poetry and National Poetry Month allows us time to celebrate those authors who keep our kids in stitches and tears through their work. The following websites honor poets Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. In addition, you will find the incredible resource of the Children’s Poetry Archive where families can hear poems in the voices of their authors. Whether you want to spend some time with Runny Babbitt by Shel Silverstein or My Dog May Be A Genius by Jack Prelutsky, you will find them at the following sites. Or, hear the words of Allan Ahlberg, Roald Dahl, Langston Hughes and many more.

Shel Official Site for Kids (find it on the ipl2)

Features the poems of beloved children’s author, Shel Silverstein. This prolific writer of books such as Falling Up (1996), The Light in the Attic (1981), The Giving Tree (1964) and Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974) is still read and relevant today. This website, dedicated to all things Shel Silverstein for kids, has games and puzzles, news, Shel’s books and where to get them, a biography of Shel Silverstein, and ideas for teachers and parents. Interestingly, on the contacts page, it says “The Silverstein Family accepts all correspondence to Shel Silverstein and all letters are saved in the Shel Silverstein Archives for posterity.”*  With that kind of endorsement and the links to additional fun, kids can both learn and play on this site.
*Retrieved from:

NEW! Welcome to Jack Prelutsky

This fun and interactive website features the poems of Jack Prelutsky, author of A Pizza the Size of the Sun (1996) and Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast (1988). Once kids are on the site, they can read Jack’s poems, find letters written to him from children all over the world, and learn all about Jack. Parents and teachers have their own section where there are activities for the classroom and home, poems for parents/educators and a complete booklist. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy this website that celebrates the work and life of Jack Prelutsky!

Children’s Poetry Archive (find it on the ipl2)

This interactive site provides a different perspective on poetry, read aloud by the original authors, or in the case of classic poetry, read by people who love the work. The idea for this site came from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and Recording Producer Richard Carrington. They understood that collecting these recordings and making them available to poetry lovers everywhere would make this art form that much more accessible to everyone.

Slam Poetry

Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license. describes slam poetry as “a poetry competition in which poets perform original work alone or in teams before an audience, which serves as judge.” The below resources illuminate the history of this lively and dynamic form as well as ways to experience it firsthand.

Poetry Slam, Inc. (find it on the ipl2)

This site features information, news, and links about poetry slams. It includes a FAQ with rules, definitions, and organizational tips, a directory of slam venues, a press section with a timeline and history of the slam movement, and links to other slam resources.

An Incomplete History of Slam (find it on the ipl2)

This site provides a discussion of the people, places, and events in the development and spread of slam poetry from its beginnings in 1970s Chicago. Slam poet Kurt Heintz authors this page on the history of slam poetry.

A Brief Guide to Slam Poetry (find it on the ipl2) provides this short overview of slam poetry. In addition to describing the form and its history, the site also features sources for further reading on the topic and a lesson plan for teaching slam and spoken word. The related prose section provides links to documentaries and other media relating to this art form.

Found Poetry

IMG_7192 (Aftermath).  Photo by Cat Sidh, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

IMG_7192 (Aftermath). Photo by Cat Sidh, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

As explains, found poetry is “the literary equivalent of collage” (Academy of American Poets, 2007-2013).  Honoring the same “remix” aesthetic as song mash-ups and internet memes, found poetry recombines extant pieces of text, utilizing everything from political speeches to craigslist ads to fashion inventive works of art.  Here are a few resources where you can “find” more information:

Poetic Form: Found Poem (find it on the ipl2)

This page, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, provides a definition of found poetry as well as examples of found poems and poets with a penchant for this medium.  It also points out well-known poets whose work tended to borrow from existing texts in the manner of found poetry, such as Ezra Pound.

NEW! Found & Headline Poems

The National Council of Teachers of English presents this down-to-earth how-to guide for aspiring found poets.  This PDF document provides step-by-step directions for writing a found poem, as well as a special section on headline poetry, a subcategory of the genre.  Also included are numerous examples of found poetry to instruct and inspire.  The guide is excerpted from the book:

Dunning, S., & Stafford, W. (1992). Getting the knack: 20 poetry writing exercises. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

NEW! Found Poetry Review

A literary magazine dedicated to found poetry, the Found Poetry Review celebrates “the poetry found in your newspaper articles, instruction booklets, dictionaries, product packaging, public speeches,” and so on.  While the most recent issue of this biannual publication is only available in physical form, the contents of previous issues are freely available in the site’s archives (“Past Issues”).  The Review accepts submissions for future issues, so if you’ve been bitten by the found poetry bug, send FBR a few stanzas!

Reminder: You can subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

In The News: Fan Fiction and Proponents of Internet Creative Writing

The Internet has brought to life many large social trends like networking, chat, blogging – the list goes on. With the ease of Web development and self-publishing, the Internet has also become an outlet for all types of creative writers. For underground writers, zines, or small publications containing self-published text and images, can now be widely distributed and given a louder voice. Fan fiction, in which fans travel beyond the framework of an original work with their own words, is arising from the faithful followers of bestselling sagas like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, and many others. Creative writing has gained its own fan base and with the help of the Internet (and libraries!), that following is growing every day. The following links and sites are a glimpse at some of the resources providing outlets and cultivating new writers in the world of Internet creative writing.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

NEW! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

November is National Novel Writing Month, which brings along a challenge for writers to compose 50,000 words of a new novel between the days of November 1 and November 30 each year. This site allows a writer to register, track their progress, receive support from fellow writers, and network with other participants in the project. Started in 1999, over 2 billion words have been produced toward this project, a self described “thirty days and nights of literary abandon.”

The Open Diary (find it on ipl2 – Teen – Reading and Writing – Blogs)

This site is a collection of diary and journal entries from writers throughout the Internet. A writer may create a free account and write their own entries and connect with the entries of others. Open Diary also names November as NoJoMo, or National Journaling Month, and challenges its writers to “write at least one entry, every day, for the entire month of November.”

NEW! Archive of Our Own

As a product of the Organization for Transformative Works and established in 2008, Archive of Our Own (also known as AO3) is an archive of fan works of all kinds – fan fiction, fan art, and fan videos. It is currently in beta, invite-only format and contains a library of almost 250,000 works from over 7,500 fandoms, or original works.

Zine: Xenith (find it on ipl2 – Teen – Reading and Writing – Zines)

A zine originally created for teens in 1997, this online collection of images, prose, literary science, poetry, and general writing thoughts is still going strong with over 3,000 hits per month. News and commentary sections, regular columns, and a reading list accompany the submissions of all previously unpublished creative writing on the site, as well as a forum for writers looking for feedback on their creations and possible contributions to Xenith’s growing number of entries.

NEW! FanFiction.Net

A resource for archiving fan fiction, FanFiction.Net has over 2.2 million users and contains fiction written in over thirty languages based on hundreds of original works, including Twilight, Harry Potter, Glee, and Lord of the Rings. Writers may submit fiction without cost and stories are categorized by genre and original work and users may contribute to communities of writers through a forum providing feedback and reviews.

NEW! FictionPress

A sister site of FanFiction.Net, FictionPress serves as a digital archive and self-publishing site for Internet poetry, plays, and original stories. Containing a network of over one million writers and readers with a library of over one million works, FictionPress is “a place to showcase your creativity. For a reader, this is a place of discovery and an opportunity to feast to your heart’s content.” Writers can browse fiction and poetry categorized by genre and also find registered “beta readers” to read and proof their content.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!