Susan Riley | August 2015

SparkChasers Season 3 Episode 3: Tips for Supporting Students in Creative Analysis

Creative Analysis can be a challenge for anyone, but can be almost scary for our students.  How many times have you asked the dreaded question, “what do you think about this?” and received the equally dreaded answer, “it’s good”?  Better yet, how many times have you given that answer?

When asked to analyze a piece of text (both traditional and non-traditional like a musical composition or piece of choreography), our students often jump straight to what they think about the text or what it means to them.  Creative Analysis is different – it requires you to look at the piece from all angles, find details others may miss, and slowly begin to see how the pieces fit together.  That’s hard for everyone!  So what can we do to help our students with this skill in our classrooms?

In this episode of SparkChasers, we’ll talk about how you can frame analysis through the creative process, prompts that will help your students dig deeply when reading both traditional and non-traditional texts, and to both provide evidence and synthesize the text in a meaningful way.


Typhani Harris’ 4READ Strategy

Creating Trading Cards to analyze character motivations

Talk to Me Strategy from The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan