Exploring Creative Responses


15-20 Minutes

  • Look at photographs to see what some people are doing to encourage their community

  • Explore challenges faced by your community

  • Think about how your special skills and talents could help your community 

  • Paper or notebook

  • Pencil, pen, or other writing tool


We’re thinking about

the question: 

“How can we support and encourage our community during difficult times?”

Your challenge this week is to design and perform an “Uplifting Action” to support and encourage your community.

Let's Get Started!

Look at this picture of someone’s front door.

Ask yourself:

  • How can creativity help us to encourage and support others even though we are physically separated?



to give someone support, to help them feel hopeful



In this moment, many people around the world are being asked to stay apart to protect their own health, as well as the health of others.

The coronavirus is an illness that began spreading across the globe in December 2019. The virus has recently changed everyday life.

In many communities, schools and businesses are closed. People are practicing social distancing to avoid spreading the virus and to keep themselves and others safe. 

People are separated but have found creative ways to connect with others.

social distancing:


a set of rules made to prevent people from having close contact with others; includes staying 6 feet away from other people (except family members) and avoiding public places or large groups

All over the world, people are finding ways to encourage and uplift their communities.



to bring joy and happiness

Look below at some examples of creative and safe ways people around the world are encouraging and uplifting their communities even though they are separated. Ask yourself:

  • How are people connecting even though they can't meet face-to-face?

  • What do these different actions have in common?

Music Students


People find ways to connect even though they can't meet face-to- face. Some use video calls and social media to stay in touch with friends and family and to reach out to their communities. 


In this picture, music students stay connected to each other by doing what they love – playing music and singing together – but this time it’s virtually. They hope that their beautiful music will uplift others.

Inspired by people in Italy who started singing on their balconies and out windows to bring joy to each other, neighbors in cities around the world are connecting in this way, too.

In this video, neighbors in Germany stay connected and bring joy to each other by singing and playing instruments to the Italian song “Bella Ciao” on the balconies of their apartments. 

LeVar Burton


Many authors, illustrators, actors and other artists are bringing joy to others by sharing their talents from home right now. 

This is a message from LeVar Burton, star of the TV show Reading Rainbow. He is using his passion for reading books to share a variety of stories over the internet.

Lunch Notes


In many places, school districts and community centers are working hard to provide lunches for students who rely on schools for meals.


In this picture, staff members add an extra surprise to the lunches by including heartwarming notes inside to encourage and uplift these students.

In each of the examples above, people are using their passions (what they love) and their skills (what they are good at) to encourage and uplift others.

Your challenge this week is to create your own “Uplifting Action” to support, encourage, and bring joy to others. Today, you will brainstorm ideas!

Brainstorm your passions, skills, needs, and limits on a piece of paper (or use the “Brainstorm” handout if you like):


    • What do you love to do? Do you enjoy music, art, humor, poetry, or do you have a different passion?

      • Write down 3 passions that you have.


    • What are you good at? What special skills and talents do you have? Can you sing? Are you funny? Good at drawing or organizing events? What else?

      • Write down 3 skills that you have.

  • NEEDS:

    • What does your community need right now? Do you think people need love, humor, physical activity, fun? What else?

      • Write down 3 needs that your community has.


    • You will need to work within your limits. What can you do when your movement and access is limited? Think about:

      • Places: Right now, I can go…

      • Materials and Resources: Right now, I have…

Want to find out more about how people are connecting during this time of social distancing? 

Read the Newsela article “Why tough times can create better neighbors” (you'll have to log into or sign up for an account). When you read the article, ask yourself:

  • How are people connecting even though they can't meet face-to-face?

  • What do these different actions have in common?

  • How have connections become even stronger between people and communities during this time when people are far apart?

Ready for Day 2?

On day 2, you will create an “Action Plan” to help you encourage, uplift, and bring joy to others in your community.