Creative, Art And Game Based Methods For Integrating Students With Special Needs, Angra do Heroismo, Portugal, July 2021

  • Our journey to the course was really something that doesn't happen every day (luckily) so we would like to share it.

    We departed from Zagreb airport by plane, but had almost every possible complication one can imagine. Our flight was delayed because of police. Our pilot had to accept four persons on board, who's documents weren't acceptable. Croatian border control didn't allow them to enter the country, so they had to return from where they came. Our plane took off because of that an hour and a half later as scheduled. And even though we've had almost two hours to transfer in Lisbon, we missed our connection flight to Terceira. Luckily our flight company arranged the overnight stay in Lisbon for free for us and a new flight the next morning. So, happy because of the nice hotel and breakfast, we walked to the terminal. When we checked the displays, there was obvious that quite some flights were cancelled. We noticed, but didn't pay much attention, since our flight was as good and sure as it should be. The hour of our flight was getting nearer and nearer, but… then it started… the first delay… the next delay, but still, luckily not cancelled. The land airport crew was on strike for the weekend! It was quite stress for our nerves. Finally, the display said BOARDING. Great! After the four-and-a-half-hour delay we took off. We're going to our destination, our hearts were filled with joy and relief. When we were in the air, the pilot reported another great news: your luggage isn't travelling with us, it stuck on the Lisbon airport, due to the strike. What could we do, we looked at each other, smiled relieved, and said: "At least we're here, in the air to Terceira!"

    So, we arrived to Angra do Heroismo on Saturday, instead of Friday and without our suitcases. But already at the first sight on the green island we were sure, that it was worth of every trouble.

    We met with our host Graca and course trainer Flavia on Sunday evening meeting dinner, where we arranged all the final details with the schedule of workshops and excursions.

    As exciting as our trip to Terceira was also our course. But not in a sense of biting nails as we're worried what will happen, but in a sense of creativeness we found in ourselves, actually Flavia woke it up by her guidance and step by step approach towards her students.

    We expressed our creativeness through linguistic, art, plastic, body and music expression.

    With our first exercise we had at first to come up and write down two imaginary characters, imaginary places, real tools, real animals, real persons, real places. We had to made up each of them along with listening to different kind of instrumental music for approximately two minutes.

    Afterwards we had to pick some of the characters and paint our imaginary story, again by listening to the music. We were offered only three basic colours, with white and black, also. We could take as much time as each needed, there was no hurry, only creativity. When our pictures where finished, we presented them to each other. At first we presented all our characters we made up and the other participants had to recognize, which one of them we used in our painted story.

    When we saw every picture and guessed each detail on them, we started with linguistic expression. We had to write our story down. Again with no hurry, each had as much time as each needed. For the more creative surroundings, there was instrumental music again in the background. When the stories were written, we read them out loud.

    Flavia told us, that with the readings we can finish this kind of activity with our students, but we can also go on with questions: Who are you in this story? What is your role in it? By that, we can learn a lot about our students, their feelings, problems, solutions, relationships … Or students can see their relation from above or with different eyes, maybe understand them better, they can help themselves with solutions …

    We were offered different materials and objects for plastic expression. We had to prepare, construct, design a scenery for the drama play. We were totally free, no theme, no story or anything else to refer to, only our imagination was the limit. Again we weren't limited with time. When each participant thought she had done his best, she decided she's finished.

    After the scenery was designed, we were offered different costumes, from dresses to hats or other clothing … Again we had to choose which we would use and we dressed ourselves into costumes. Only then we had to explain which character we were, why we chose each item we did.

    Dressed in our costumes, already, we had to prepare, to form our common story. We could decide if we will use words or only body expression, how we will play, what will our story be, which characters will appear … Everything was from our imagination and creativeness. We wrote our stories on paper.

    Than we got balloons and each participant present herself with a special move in a circle. We had to repeat every move from the first and add our move. By that we created a choreography, but we weren't even aware of that, just like that! A choreography was there! We only added music and repeated the moves with rhythm.

    And then drama expression. At first we had some time to prepare our play on the stage with the scenery and then it went for real.

    Our body language was our tool on the stage, where only our imagination and creativity were the limit.

    Link to the video.

    Not only that we already were creative writers, players, dancers, scenery designers, theatre costume designers, drawers we also expressed ourselves as a famous world known painters.

    A famous painting was projected and our goal was to be creative. We had to choose one or two or as much as we wanted details from the painting and create a new work of art by using it or them. We were offered only primary colours and black and white also, and our painting began, our creativity with brushes was free!

    In the end we also presented our outcomes, evaluated our work, thoughts, benefits …

    There is of course no course without discovering the local culture and nature, which on Terceira is really amazing.