Your Grade Correct Grade Point Adjustment Total Points

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Scoring Activity

1__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
2__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
3__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
4__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
5__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
6__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
7__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
8__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
9__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
10__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
11__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____
12__ Your Grade_____ Correct Grade _____*Point Adjustment_____ Total Points_____

*Point Adjustment

Correct Grade (e.g. If the essay’s correct grade is a 6, your group assigned it a 6)= -1

One Off (e.g. If the essay’s correct grade is a 6, your group assigned it either a 5 or a 7)= +0

Two Off= +1

Three Off= +2

Four Off= +3

AP English Language and Composition

2012 Scoring Guidelines: Rhetorical Strategies Question

The score should reflect the essay’s quality as a whole. Remember that students had only 40 minutes to read and write; the paper, therefore, is not a finished product and should not be judged by the standards appropriate for an out-of-class assignment. Evaluate the paper as a draft, making certain to reward students for what they do well.
All essays, even those with scores of 8 or 9, may contain occasional lapses in analysis, prose style, or mechanics. Such features should enter into a holistic evaluation of an essay’s overall quality. In no case should an essay with many distracting errors in grammar and mechanics score higher than a 2.
9 Essays earning a score of 9 meet the criteria for the score of 8 and, in addition, are especially sophisticated in their argument, thorough in their development, or impressive in their control of language.
Essays earning a score of 8 effectively develop a position on the inclusion of a creativity class. The evidence and explanations used are appropriate and convincing, and the argument is especially coherent and well developed. The prose demonstrates a consistent ability to control a wide range of the elements of effective writing but is not necessarily flawless.
7 Essays earning a score of 7 meet the criteria for a score of 6 but provide more complete explanation, more thorough development, or a more mature prose style.

Essays earning a score of 6 adequately develop a position on the inclusion of a creativity class. The evidence and explanations used are appropriate and sufficient, and the argument is coherent and adequately developed. The essay may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but generally the prose is clear.

5 Essays earning a score of 5 develop a position on the inclusion of a creativity class. The evidence or explanations used may be uneven, inconsistent, or limited. The writing may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but it usually conveys the student’s ideas.
Essays earning a score of 4 inadequately develop a position on the inclusion of a creativity class. The evidence or explanations used may be inappropriate, insufficient, or unconvincing. The argument may have lapses in coherence or be inadequately developed. The prose generally conveys the student’s ideas but may be inconsistent in controlling the elements of effective writing.
3 Essays earning a score of 3 meet the criteria for the score of 4 but demonstrate less success in developing a position on the inclusion of a creativity class, or the explanations or examples may be particularly limited or simplistic. The essays may show less maturity in control of writing.
2—Little Success
Essays earning a score of 2 demonstrate little success in success in developing a position on inclusion of a creativity class. These essays may misunderstand the prompt, or substitute a simpler task by responding to the prompt tangentially with unrelated, inaccurate, or inappropriate explanation. The essays often demonstrate consistent weaknesses in writing, such as grammatical problems, a lack of development or organization, or a lack of control.
1 Essays earning a score of 1 meet the criteria for the score of 2 but are underdeveloped, especially simplistic, in their explanation, or weak in their control of language.
0 Indicates an off-topic response, one that merely repeats the prompt, an entirely crossed-out response, a drawing, or a response in a language other than English.

Question 3
(Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.)
Authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman published “The Creativity Crisis” in in July 2010. They reported that the Torrance Test, a test of creativity that has been administered to millions of people worldwide in 50 languages, indicates that the public’s “creativity quotient” has steadily crept downward since 1990. In their article, Bronson and Merryman cite the claim of Professor Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William and Mary: “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant.” Kim reports that it is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”

Bronson and Merryman state that “[t]he potential consequences are sweeping. The necessity of human ingenuity is undisputed. A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 ‘leadership competency’ of the future. Yet it’s not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth. All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others.”

One possible approach to this reputed decline in creativity is to explicitly teach creative thinking in school. Write to your school board explaining what you mean by creativity and arguing for or against the creation of a class in creativity.


Question 3 (2014)

The Value of a Creativity Class (Student responses)

Essay #1

Creativity is one of the most important skills a person can have, yet it is also one of the hardest skills to teach. In any job in any field, creativity is necessary to innovate and to create new things. While the “creativity quotient” continues to decline among students, schools, which prepare students for the real world, may consider various approaches to promote creativity. One of these considerations is creating a class specifically for teaching creativity. However, such an approach is impossible simply because there is no one form of creativity, and creativity can differ greatly from person to person. What creativity is to a painter is vastly different from what creativity is to a scientist. Stimulating creativity requires a natural approach to induce critical thinking rather than an explicit method, and rather than creating a class with the sole purpose of promoting creativity, existing classes ought to be restructured.

In school, creativity is often associated only with liberal arts classes such as art, journalism, photography, etc. Yet there is plenty of room for creativity and innovation in math and science fields. Inventing is the process of combining new and untested ideas with scientific principles and ideas. Everything—from the wheel to the iPhone—required serious critical thinking as well as previously known information. Yet schools today have focused far too much on the latter; math and science courses require students to memorize numbers, equations, and facts, and then to copy them for assignments and tests with little regard for the “how” or “why.” While being able to find a derivative or perform acid-base titration is important, the theory and principles behind these concepts are just as important. Understanding how scientists and mathematicians such as Newton and Edison saw the world is necessary to help students understand what it means to be creative in the math and science fields.

Devoting an entire class, however, to this goal would be ineffective. Teaching students how to be creative would be teaching students a certain way to think, limiting their creative potential. In addition, it would be impossible to cater to all the different forms of creativity; artists and scientists think fundamentally differently, and thus their creativities are fundamentally different as well. Instead of creating a new class to promote creativity, existing classes should be changed to include more activities that inspire a natural development of creativity. For example, science experiments should leave students to make their own hypothesis and conclusion, without being told what “should” and “shouldn’t” happen. In math, more proofs should be derived and explained to understand how one concept leads to another, and students could come up with their own. In general, giving students more autonomy and fewer training wheels will promote creativity, and even if there’s some failures, students learn and grow the most from them.

Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #2

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing to you regarding recent proposals related to the establishment of a class in creative thinking. I am strongly against this idea. If asked to give a definition of creativity, I would say, “Creativity is the ability to solve a problem in a non-standard way.” BAM! Basically, creativity is thinking outside the box. Because of this, I firmly believe that creativity cannot be forced. The very idea of making a class to solve a problem is extremely uncreative, and I believe that, at least in this case, it would make the problem worse.

The problem in question, of course, is that “creativity quotient” of the world has been steadily declining since 1990. Before attempting to solve a problem, we should first ask exactly what caused it in the first place. I am no expert on the subject, but my best hypothesis would be that a more structured school system, one with less room for “thinking outside the box,” is one of the main causes. This would explain the even sharper decline in the creativity quotient of young students in America. I remember when I was in elementary school, playing with blocks on a daily basis. Many toys were available, but the blocks were my favorite because I could make new things. Now, eleven miserable years later, my little brother is in first grade, and all he does is multiple column addition and subtraction for hours at a time. That cannot be good for the development of creativity. With the problem identified, we can now attempt to develop a solution. This is where my ideas begin to die out. (Perhaps because I was in school over ten years after 1990?) I don’t have an answer to this problem, besides the vague idea to make school less structured, but I am certain that a class on creativity will definitely not help. Creativity cannot be taught through something as structured as a class, unless it is block class.

For this reason, I beg of you; do not make a class on creativity. It will only be a waste of time and money, and it could even lead to a sharper decline in creativity of students here. I do not have all the answers, but my proposed solution would be to attempt to allow for creativity in existing classes. Above all else, however, I am certain that the creativity class is not the answer. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
The Master Builder
Student Score:________        Actual Score:________
Essay #3

Dear School Board,

As a student, I feel that I have a reason—nay—an obligation to inform you that there must be something done in terms of the lack of creativity in this district. Personally, I believe that creativity is the ability to suspend conventional thinking in favor of unconventional thinking. Although classes like Mathematics, Chemistry, and Spanish help to educate students, they inherently reject my notion of creativity. To right this wrong, I propose the creation of a class in creativity at my school. It is evident that such a class is necessary due to the efforts creativity has on future career opportunities, the overall psyche, and the atmosphere of the school.

To begin, a class in creativity is necessary because of the role it has in preparing students for the future. By helping students think in unconventional ways, they will ultimately succeed in the workplace. A poll of 1500 CEOs identified creativity as the number one leadership competency of the future, and it’s no wonder why. By questioning conventional thinking, employees can discover new ways to accomplish tasks, in turn gaining recognition that will help them make it up the corporate ladder. Even if a student decides to work a less intellectually demanding job, creativity will prove to be an asset when thinking of different solutions to everyday problems. A creativity class would help students understand the intangible values in critical thinking, and I am sure their future bosses will take notice as well.

Secondly, creativity class is necessary because it will improve the thought process of those who take the course. Although the curriculum may not be known exactly at this point, it will revolve around my interpretation of creativity and will instill unconventional thinking. By taking a break from high stress class like Math that demands strict adherence to formulas and equations, students will welcome the opportunity to think out of the box for a change. Although education is important and is one of the main roles of a school, student mental health and well-being also deserve to be attended to. A creativity class would help students relax from the rigors of many of the purely academic courses like Math and help them to explore different ways of thinking.

Finally, there should be a class in creativity because it improves the atmosphere of the school. Would you rather run a school known for its overworked students with practical Math skills or for its students with practical knowledge for the future? The choice is easy and a class in critical thinking would ensure that our school’s reputation improves. Similarly, as more and more students question the importance of a college degree, perhaps a class in creativity would demonstrate that there are other important skills than math and physics. This creativity class could reverberate throughout the entire school, perhaps persuading other teachers to take a creative approach to how they teach and how their students learn Math.

In conclusion, a class in creativity is needed because it prepares students for the future, improves the overall psyche of the students, and its effects reverberate throughout the entire school. As a student, I appreciate your hard work in ensuring we receive the best education possible. I hope you will consider my plan for a class in creativity. Thank you for your time.

Stu Dent
Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #4

Creativity is an utmost concern to the future of our existence. In recent studies, a lack of creativity and critical thinking in youth has dropped at an alarming rate. It is not only four our economical growth and international needs, but for our well being. In my school I see an abundance of creativity in students because of our availability to classes such as art, engineering, and music. Although to many this may seem like a waste of funds to continue offereing these classes, only few have the mentality that these classes allow for children’s minds to grow!

For example, I would like to become a civil engineering major, which requires both creativity and an open mind to new ideas. I’m currently in an intro to engineering course, which has really opened many doors. Simple projects like creating, designing, and building mousetrap cars and waterbottle rockets allow for many students, like myself, to think critically in searching for creative ways to make a product work better. Engineering courses aren’t the only things that spark my creativity and allow it to grow, but also clubs! I am a member of my school’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) Robotics Club. How might this relate to creativity and problem solving, you may ask. Well, just a few months ago, we competed in a regional competition where we were asked to build a robot which is able to lunge 20 lb balls into goals. I mean, how neat is that?! Attending the competition, I’ve seen teams with robots wheich have potential I would never have even dreamed of! Courses and clubs like these I’m in, really allow for students to be creative while having fun at the same time. Heck, maybe one day my team will be able to design a robot able to help clean oil spills or build rockets to Saturn!

Creativity is a beautiful thing, and I for one would like to see this in everyone. Everyone and anyone holds great abilities but are unable to express them because schools don’t encourage them. So do the world a favor and grant the children of today the chance to strive and change the world.

Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #5

Put yourself in a parent point of view, would you want your kids to be creative or non-creative? This is a world wide problem that has been going on for a couple of years give or take, and yet still can’t seem to find a solution.

Do you think this modern day world was created by people without creativity? NO! This world was created by people who are creative. Without a creative minds lots of modern day innovations would of never existed. Kids now a day are becoming less and less creative—they can’t think outside the box. I have a friend who wants to be a doctor. But why? Because he’s not creative. This is why schools should find more creative ways of educating our way to light up that sparks kids and adults used to have for a good education. Coming from a student perspective, it’s rare to find a teacher who finds different ways to teach that certain materials. Most of the thing taught to us is something that’s old and boring. Our educational programs should be flexible enough where year by year they adjust to the students and find new way of teaching.

Day by day students are evolving, therefore our educational program should too. Furthermore, added to this would be a good to add a creative class into our schedule and save my friend from an uncreative life as a doctor. Even the most simplest things can make a big difference in this world.
Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #6

Dear Allendale County Schools,

I am writing in regards to the lack of creativity and self-expression in our school system. I know that when you hear the word creativity you feel it is a waste of precious time and energy. In fact, you feel it provides no preparation for the future activities. But the truth is that creativity can prepare you for the future. Creativity can help spark numerous amounts of ideas and ways of thinking. Many of the top world leaders today have a vast amount of creativity. Creativity and creative thinking helps stimulate your mind for excellence in other areas.

My point is that ours schools should be provided with a class in creative thinking. Without being able to think in a creative way, our lives would be a rather dull and boring place. Being creative can only enhance students not deteriorate them. I feel in order to guarantee success, we need a creative thinking class.


Beyonce Knowles (JK! I wish!)

Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #7

Dear Fairfax County School Board,

In a recent publication by authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, it is stated that the “creativity quotient” of students has been steadily decreasing, particularly in younger students. While such tests measuring creativity, in this case the Torrance Test, are not always the most objective or valid in their findings, it does work to highlight a failing in the school system. As such, it is necessary to modify the school system in a way that fosters creative thinking by giving teachers more freedom and reducing standardization.

However, it is first necessary to define creativity. While the writers of “The Creativity Crisis” did not mention too much about the exact details of the Torrance Test, there are several universally agreed upon components of creativity. Innovationess, or the ability to bypass a perceptual set or functional fixedness, is an essential component of creativity necessary in maintaining healthy growth in the human race. Take the situation with mounting a candle with nothing but a box of nails. Many individuals will falter and be stuck trying to nail the candle to the wall, resulting in a precarious hanging with wax dripping on the floor. However, a simple solution is to nail the box to the wall and place the candle inside it. Novelty, and the willingness to try new things, is another essential component which together with innovativeness drive studies and breakthroughs world-wide. The rise of all the different arts and music movements began with a dissident who was willing to try something new and eventually had enough of a following to constitute a movement. Beethoven was a master of novelty with his piano, sometimes ranging from the early Mozart style into a precursor for jazz. Finally, the last component of creativity is adaptivity. By combining tenacity of novelty with the inventiveness of innovation, adaptation is made possible for inclusion of new problems. The most practical component of creativity which allows an individual to best flow in their own unique lifestyle. What then are the failings of the current school system in fostering creativity?

The growing importance of standardized tests in the evaluation of the performance of a student is the prime perpetration of the reduction in student creativity. In the years before standardized testing, classroom environments were very different from class to class. With some teachers being more lecture and worksheet oriented and others preferring the hands-on activities, the passion of the teachers showed in the way they taught, exposing students to a variety of different situations and evaluations. However, with standardized testing benchmarks, teachers are further and further encouraged to teach to the test, spending exorbitant amounts of time racing through concepts and doing exam-specific practice. Children are not taught how to learn, an essential facet in fostering creativity, but instead to test. Problem solving is reduced to formulaic production of canned responses. In the famous story of Gauss’s discovery of arithmetic series summation formula during his elementary school years, he is told by his teacher to sum all integers from 1 to 100. Satisfied that she has stumped him, she settles down and begins adding the numbers one by one, as any other young child with a basic knowledge of arithmetic would have done. Instead, Gauss, in a moment of novelty, notices that by matching pairs of numbers from both ends, he can create the same number: 101. Adapting in this new piece of knowledge, Gauss innovatively applies the principles of multiplication to easily get the sum: 5050. What can be done so that children are more willing to take risks and foster their creativity?

While some may suggest a class in creativity, the ability to utilize one’s creativity is based on several factors, with some more easily taught than others. First, exposure to the subject area is necessary. Had Gauss not known multiplication, how would he have created another way to do addition? This is something that must be taught in different ways for different subject areas. For example, derivation in various ways of famous mathematical results is a great way of showing the ingenuity of past math geniuses and give children the tools with which to approach problems. Beyond exposure, fundamental knowledge is important, and this is for the most part the only portion covered in the current system. By far the most discouraged necessity in creativity is risk-taking. In a time-constrained world with daily deadlines and time limits, risk taking and experimentation is punished in favor of production of canned responses. Imagine if I had a day to plan this letter and to research my points; now imagine if I had only 40 minutes, and it was for a grade. How would this diminish the risks I was willing to take? As with the other problems, giving the teachers more freedom to give the students freedom would allow for a healthier learning environment. One example from elementary school geometry is the tessellation play. While their structures start 2-dimensional, those trying new things soon see the 3-D applications of tessellations by turning shapes on their sides for a whole new world to explore without penalty.

Of course, and immediate removal of standardized tests is not reasonable, but slow reintegration of teacher freedom will ultimately allow for individual classes to foster creativity in their unique ways. Perhaps a class for creativity specifically may help as an introduction for young children, but it is ultimately the job of each individual teacher to instill in his or her students the will to learn. After all, what we as a school want is for each student to know that he is more than a number, but a being of great potential limited only by his own imagination.


Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #8

To Whom It May Concern:

It is important to note that, contrary to what some believe, creativity is not an innate skill that one is necessarily born with. Creativity is something that can be taught. This is not the ability to be able to turn a canvas into a watercolor masterpiece, or to write a novel that can affect the minds of millions. Creativity is the ability to approach the world with a highly individualized eye and to think in an unconventional way to produce unconventional, yet effective, ideas. This value is of an enormous importance. In the absence of creativity, no progress can ever be made, as thoughts based on popular convention are never progressive. To teach creativity is to better the student with a different outlook on the world and to generate people with the ability to think individually and without bias towards existing ideas; this is an action with such radical and beneficial consequences that the school board must create a class to teach creativity.

Perhaps the most famous scientist of all time, Albert Einstein, summarized the point in his almost equally famous quotation: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” What Einstein was claiming was not the triviality of knowledge but the necessity to use knowledge creatively. Before Einstein’s time, physicists had already garnered a huge amount of information regarding how the world worked and in what ways different forces reacted with each other. Nevertheless, it was Einstein who, using the same information available to others, was able to formulate the momentous theory of general relativity. This was not due to any more complete data possessed by Einstein, but because this fabled physicist was able to approach the data from a different perspective and think creatively. It is because of this action of imaginative thinking and creative problem-solving that we now understand more deeply the forces that control the heavenly bodies that we see at night.

There is very clearly much credence to the subjects of math, science, English, and foreign language as important subjects in a student’s education. A class in creativity, however, would not pile more information on students much like these traditional courses. Instead, a course based solely on creativity would instill in its students the ability to better utilize all of the information other classes put at their disposal. This kind of class would create problem-solvers, leaders, unconventional thinkers: all necessary in continuing progress of the world as a whole. Without creativity, no new ideas could be thought up, no boundaries tested, no status-quo revolutionized. Creativity is the skill that lets us use our knowledge to dream, to create, and especially to progress: this is why a class that teaches it is vital to our students’ educational experiences.
With Sincere Regards,

#Mumbldee Peg

Student Score:________         Actual Score:________

Essay #9

Creativity does not always pertain to “art.” By creativity, in the needs of modern society, creativity can be defined as: critical thinking and problem solving skills, as well as innovation. The creation of a class regarding this form of creativity is direly needed in our school systems. Without this class, the future of society will suffer.

The public’s creativity has been declining since 1990. Large scale problems such as health-care and bringing peace to Afghanistan are only a couple of situations future generations will have to handle. Professor Kim from William and Mary reported that creativity scores in grades K-6 have suffered the most decline. This is a serious problem that must be fixed because if the future lacks ideas, innovation, or problem-solving skills, society is likely to plummet.

I remember in my 6th grade science class, we were instructed to construct a simple electrical circuit during class time, utilizing the information learned in the lecture. We were only allowed to use aluminum, cardboard, scissors, tape, and simple light bulbs and one battery to create our device. Almost everyone failed the assignment. We all knew the information required to complete the circuit, but we all lacked the innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills to do so. That was in 2009, and statistics indicate 6th graders today might find that assignment even more impossible, if not deadly. For this reason, change is necessary.

A creativity class stressing skills of innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills is needed in our school system so students will be more capable of solving international problems in the future. Many elementary school children wouldn’t know how their parents’ smart phones operate, and likely only a few would have ideas on how to improve them. How then, do we expect to keep inventing new phones with better apps, cameras, and screen resolution? How can we expect globalization will continue without innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills? How can we expect to solve the economic struggles in Greece, to save stolen school girls in Nigeria, to download Chance the Rapper’s new album, or to stop World War III? We can’t expect that. We can, however, provide a class that stresses innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving approach to creativity. I feel confident that if such a class were nationally made available or mandatory, society would thank us in the future..

But for the present, a class representing this form of creativity needs to be implemented in our school system to grow a community of learners dedicated to progress and synergy. This class would provide young scholars lacking in creativity with the ability to save or change the world in the future. Even in everyday life, this class could prove meaningful, which is why I highly prescribe its creation. For innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #10

Creativity is when we create something that we think of. For example, when we draw a dog with a heart around his eye, that’s being creative. We don’t learn creativity, we are basically born with it.

Creativity has decreased a lot since 1990 according to “The Creativity Crisis.” The most important group is the kindergarten through 6th grade. Creativity is a positive thing for everyone. Without creativity we woulding have much. We create new things everyday. We upgrade because of new invention. For example, phones. We didn’t have touch screen phones before, now we have many types of touch screens. iPhones, Galaxies. You name it.

We can’t live in a world where everything is controlled because that leaves us with no creativity. Another example is fashion. What we wear lets us express ourselves individually. We make things based on what are our likes. We should have creativity because it lets us be free.

Creativity. It is used everyday with different things. Creativity is a trait we all posses and if it didn’t exist, idk, we’d all be boring and dull.
Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #11

Dear School Board,

It has come to my attention that creativity is at an all time low. Due to cookie-cutter college requirements and curriculums that are designed to teach for a standardized test, students are losing the ability to use their imaginations to solve problems and to express themselves on an academic level. I have heard that there has been talk of explicitly teaching creativity in a mandatory class. How could one create a curriculum to teach creativity? No matter if you are intelligent, dumb, comical, or dry, everybody’s mind works in its own unique way. I believe that there are other options that are needed to be explored in order to allow creativity to flourish.

Though schools claim they want students to be creative, educators care more about test scores. This leads to teachers that only care if a student got a correct answer and not how the student reached that conclusion. This is a boring, lazy form of teaching. Teachers are unable to throw in their own panache and flair if the state requires them to follow strict teaching guidelines. Classrooms should be places of higher, advanced thinking where students should be able to compare ideas and thoughts with peers. Because creativity must be fostered and not created, classes such as English, Math, Science, and History should have portions of time dedicated to open discussions about topics learned.

Many believe that a course in creativity is the only way for students to be creative; however, it is impossible to grade creativity. Students should be required to have personal journals for all classes. These will not be graded or used for notes. Consequently, it is in these journals that a student could truly show his or her intelligence and develop an interest in the subject matter. Grades limit students to follow the formula of memorization. This plays up a students’ imagination and demolishes any chance for a creative spark. Why take a chance by being creative when you could get penalized for your actions.

Creativity is becoming a lost art and therefore is becoming a valuable trait. Companies are looking for creative minds in order to lead in the future. By creating a more creative curriculum, you will help students achieve success later in life. Try to use your imagination and see how creativity would positively influence our school.


President Barack Obama

Student Score:________        Actual Score:________

Essay #12

Creativity is declining in America. It is clear that something needs to be done. Without creativity, we will never learn to think outside of the box, and that will lead to

Suddenly a glowing blue cloud of gas with a fluorescent star at its center appears before the author. It resembles nothing so much as a living nebula.
Cloud: Kaitlyn! Kaitlyn, listen to me!

Kaitlyn: What? What is this? Why is there a talking cloud in this room?

Cloud: No need to shout, Kaitlyn—none of the other students can see me. I am Xaxes, a sentient gaseous lifeform. I am projecting my consciousness before you!

Kaitlyn: Oh. That’s cool. So I can, like, just think stuff at you?

Xaxes: Correct.

Kaitlyn: That’s pretty rad.

Xaxes: Kaitlyn! I have traveled lightyears across the astral plane to find you! Your efforts are needed to rescue my people from a horrific cataclysm!

Kaitlyn: But why me? I… I don’t have time for that! I’m trying to write my AP essay!

Xaxes: Kaitlyn, we have searched the atomic fabric of existence for one such as you, the last creative being in the galaxy! We had almost lost hope when we came across your Tumblr account—

Kaitlyn: My Harry Potter fanfic!

Xaxes: Indeed. All other potentially innovative minds have succumbed to an existential torpor we know as the <makes an unpronounceable noise that sounds like dolphins being fed into a papershredder>. My people have lost the capacity to define themselves as vibrant, distinct beings, instead collapsing into this porous, nebulous state of ennui!

Kaitlyn: Bummer.
The room fills with the sounds of soaring guitars and keyboards; a great rock opera ensues as Xaxes glows all the colors of 10,000 exploding unicorns. Xaxes sings like a godlike Steven Tyler.
We were the race of celestial beings ascended to the sky!
Luminous and reaching out to nigh-infinity!

When, bounded by provincial needs and crass materialism

We lost the hues of incandescence like light trapped by a priiiiiiiism!
Kaitlyn, create! Kaitlyn create! Kaitlyn save the day!
Kaitlyn: Far out, Xaxes. I WILL save your people!

Brown Gaseous Alien: Not so fast, Kaitlyn! I forbid your participation!

Kaitlyn: Whaaaaaat? Who’s this guy?

Xaxes: That is the astral projection of MumFrtzxi, the bringer of tedium! Resist him, Kaitlyn!

MumFrtzxi: Ho ho! Shut it, you cosmic sack of cow wind! Kaitlyn knows she can’t join you on your intergalactic hover vessel! She’s got an essay to write.

Kaitlyn: I’ve got an essay to write.

MumFrtzxi: And if she doesn’t write her essay, she’ll never get into the college of her dreams.

Kaitlyn: The college of my dreams.

MumFrtzxi: And then she won’t have access to the social privilege offered to risk-averse, upper-middle class Americans. She probably won’t even have enough money to eat at Applebee’s! Can you really risk your long term economic viability on rescuing the creativity of an alien race, Kaitlyn? Hmmm?

Kaitlyn: I… must… write… essay….

Xaxes: Resist him, Kaitlyn! He is the hollow emperor of mediocrity!

Kaitlyn: I… I….
Once again, the room swells guitars and the intense rhythms of rock drums. Light begins pouring from Kaitlyn’s pores as though it were ripping through wet tissues, and she rises in the air above her desk. Her clothes transform to the raiments of a Ziggy Stardust God-figure, and her pencil becomes a microphone. She sings; it is glorious.
Against the inky blackness of nothing!

I am the comet of creation!

The cold and huddled masses

Crave Prometheus’s conflagration!

And the people cry Flamebringer! Flamebringer! Bring us your flaaaaaaaaaame!
MumFrtzxi: Zounds! It… it can’t be!

Kaitlyn: Begone, mendacious one! I banish you with power of imagination!
She raises her hands and a swarm of crayons emerge from her sleeves, coloring MumFrtzxi until he bursts into a flash of rabbits.
Xaxes: Kaitlyn! You have defeated the harbinger of uniformity!
A figure emerges from the cloud that was Xaxes. It is Draco Malfoy, wearing leather pants and a mesh shirt. His hair is a star.
Kaitlyn: Xaxes! You’ve taken human form!

Xaxes: Indeed. I have selected a form based on your Tumblr writings. I hope that you are pleased.

Kaitlyn (blushing): Ummm…

Xaxes: Together, my queen, we shall travel the infinities of creation, bringing creativity to all!

Kaitlyn: That sounds dope, Xaxes. I’m so glad you get me. Most people just think I’m weird.

Xaxes: That is only because their eyes have not adjusted to your magnificence, my liege.
They join hands. Everything boring in the room rearranges at the molecular level as a symphony of rock chord progressions swells like a mushroom crowd.
Kaitlyn and Xaxes (together):
Kaitlyn create! Kaitlyn create! Kaitlyn create with meeeeeeeeee!
All dissolves into light. And the universe is saved.

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