Discussion Plan: Creating something entirely new
- When an artist creates a work of art, are they creating something entirely new?
- When the very first computer was created, was its creation entirely new?
- Can words create something entirely new? (if so, does it need to be an entirely new word?)
- When we create things, does it always have to be out of something that already existed?
- Can shaping existing elements in totally new ways create something entirely new? (What about dreams? Fantasies? a language?)
- How do you think it is possible for an inventor to come up with a radically new idea?
- Is there anything we can create out of nothing?
- What about a problem? Can we create a problem out of nothing?
- If something is totally transformed – a larvae into a butterfly – is the entirely new thing (the butterfly) something created or something made?
In light of the discussion above, if the heavens and earth were created as an entirely new thing – what might this mean?
* Discussion Plan: Making and Creating, ps,hs
A. Consider what it takes to ‘make’ something in each of these cases
- Can you turn a piece of fabric into a dress using a dressmaking pattern? If so, what form of activity does ‘making a dress’ involve? (what do you do to the fabric so that it is now a dress?)
- Can you make (or produce) a cake from flour, sugar, water and eggs? If so, what is involved in ‘making’ the ingredients into a cake?
- Can you make a face out of a lump of clay? If so, what is involved in ‘making’ the face?
- Can you produce a new song out of exiting sound clips? If so, what is involved in ‘making’ the new song?
- Can you make a work of art out of rubbish? If so, what is involved in ‘making’ it?
- Can you make/produce a new object that no-one has thought of before? If so, what would this involve?
- Can you make up a story that no-one has imagined before? If so, what does this involve?
- Can you make a solution to a problem before anyone has even imagined the problem? If so, how?
For teachers: Here are some of the options for what ‘making’ might involve in the above discussion plan – but don’t limit your students to these:
Joining pieces together, mixing things together, uncovering something hidden within, moulding, reorganizing, transforming, reconceiving, inventing, intuiting.
B. Could any of these acts be acts of creating rather than of making? If so, what would be the difference between them? (ie, between making a dress and creating a dress, making a cake, creating a cake, etc)?
In this first story of creation God is busily engaged in creating the world. What is creating? Is creating something different from making something? In the Torah, the verb בָּרָא is used to speak of bringing into existence something entirely new, astonishing or wonderous, and unforeseen – for example, (i) when speaking to Moses at Sinai of wonders he will create that have never before appeared ( Shemot 34:10) and (ii) in Bamidbar (16:30) when Moses uses it to warn Dathan and Abiram to describe the punishment God will deliver to those involved in Korach’s rebellion as something entirely new and unheard of – never before seen (opening the earth to swallow the people). Torah also leaves creation in the God’s hands – people make, God can creates. This has led people to see creation as being the (Divine) ability to produce a result (something) out of nothing. Whereas Human ‘Making’ requires prior raw materials, ‘creation’ does not.
What does it mean to create something entirely new? Something without precedent? Something astonishing in its newness? To see the creation of the world this way is to open it up to a new attentive wonder. This discussion plan explores this sense of creation.
Induction piece: As an induction piece we suggest the first discussion plan “Making and Creating” as it opens up the range of ways ‘making’ something can happen and gets students thinking about what the difference between making and creating is – and thus to think harder about what the characteristics of ‘creating something’ are. If you do this, make sure to link this to the text they will be reading. While this will narrow the scope of what they might look to see as interesting in the text, you can follow this with a less directed reading in another lesson. We urge you to read the text on induction pieces n the section on leading ideas.