Book Review: Creative Collaboration by Sara Deutsch and Denise Ostler


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As an English teacher who works with children of all ages, I’m always interested in all kinds of creative games that can help me make my classes more fun, so that my students would learn easier and truly enjoy the whole process. I’m glad that I came across Sara Deutsch’s book, “Creative Collaboration”, because I discovered a game that can be used in so many ways. And the best part is that it can also be turned into a great activity for adults.

I loved the idea of collaboration between two partners to create drawings and stories together. The author explains how she invented this creative game together with her friend, Denise, turning it into something more than just a fun activity. The game became a perfect way of learning new skills from her friend and getting to know her better. The idea is that one of the players would draw a scribble or a doodle (BEFORE) and send it to the other player, who would turn it into a completely different image (AFTER). Then, the two players would choose three or four AFTERS that they would use to create a story. This simple, but highly effective concept got me very enthusiastic, and I’m already thinking of how I can use it with my students.

Ink Blots and Energy Prints are two other techniques that I found very interesting, especially because they can be used to learn more about your own feelings and emotions. They help you discover the creativity that is buried deep within you, and the Energy Prints, for instance, can bring many things to light. I loved the idea of using them as a journal technique because they can say so much about your real state of mind, and help you understand why you might be feeling the way you do at certain moments.

I see myself coming back to this book in the future and adapting the author’s games and techniques to other situations as well, not just teaching. I’m thinking that they can also be used by writers who need to come up with characters and plots for their stories, so that’s also a possibility I’m considering. “Creative Collaboration” was a truly inspiring read. For now, I’m going to start working on the BEFORES the author provided at the end of the book for those who don’t have a partner to play the game.