As I said in my last post, the CAS requirement for your Ib Diploma can make or break your experience in IB. For some, the requirements for CAS are a no-brainer, but for others they are an added stressor. Either way, CAS can be a fun and engaging experience for any student, and all students should always be looking at what they are already doing to see if some of their everyday activities count as CAS. After all, there are three pretty broad categories: Creativity, Activity, and Service. You could do anything really, but for today’s post, I am going to outline a few ideas for each section of CAS, as well give some anecdotes on any projects I have tried and how they turned out! This first post is going to be just Creativity ideas (because this least is super long…) but I will be posting the lists for each individual section close to each other!
The first part of CAS is Creativity, which is arguably the easiest requirement to fulfill. You can honestly do anything for this requirement, but for some people that’s the issue. With so many options, it seems hard to find one that no one else is doing. Still, the thing I think the IB is looking for in reflections on this portion of CAS is real connection with your activities, so even if you think it is ‘basic’, but you are passionate about it, you should use it for CAS!
Let’s get into some ideas:
- Art: wow, real specific, I know. What I mean by art is painting, drawing, sketching, etc. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t seem all that creative, it is more about what you are painting/ drawing/ sketching, not the fact you are painting/ drawing/ sketching. As long as you enjoy what you are doing, art is an incredible outlet for your creativity and feelings!
- Music: if you play an instrument in a band, at school, or just on your free time, that can definitely count for CAS. If you’ve been playing forever, maybe try to write your own music or learn to play without sheet music. Maybe you can even adapt your favorite existing song to be played on your trumpet/ accordion/ violin 🙂 The point of CAS is not to just keep doing what you are doing. For this section especially, you should look for new ways to do what you do or how you can apply skills you already have to new areas.
- Writing: YOUR WORK FOR YOUR ENGLISH CLASS DOES NOT COUNT. CAS is more about things you do in your free time (I know, I know, what free time?) that are not graded or required by your school. That is why it is so hard for some students to complete, because they lack motivation to get started on things outside of what is required, even if it is totally their choice what to do. This project is pretty self- explanatory; writing poetry, lyrics, short stories, or hey, even your personal memoir, is applicable to the Creativity portion of CAS.
- Journaling: IB loves reflections; they want to know what x feeling you had when you did y thing on z day. You can write a journal like a diary, or you can get a bit more artistic with it and make a Bullet Journal, which is basically a planner on steroids. Bujos are super fun and if you want to see one, all you have to do is go on Tumblr or Instagram and search for a studyblr/ studygram. They will no doubt have plenty of aesthetically pleasing pictures for you to get inspired from.
- Cooking: It does not matter how many restaurants you live near, or how many Blue Apron copycat companies come out, cooking will always be an essential skill. If you are super into sweets and decorating, baking is the way to go. If you want to know how to make a hearty meal from scratch, ask your parents if you can take on a dinner a week. Cooking for yourself will not only fulfill some of your CAS requirements, it is a great way to feel accomplished and to better understand the process of food preparation for your own health. This is personally my favorite CAS activity I do. Every week, I make some sort of homemade snack for my Theory of Knowledge class, and everyone involved enjoys it 🙂
- Blogging: If journaling is not really your thing, and you are interested in the tech side of things, you should definitely consider blogging. Blogs can be run from social sites like Tumblr (which is really an anti-blog, but I digress) or blogging sites like WordPress or Blogger. Personally I prefer WordPress because it has a super accessible interface and all of your content stays in one place. It’s more difficult for others to copy your work with a traditional blogging site. While your blog can be about anything, I use my site as a way to present my CAS and IB experience, which sort of kills a few birds with one stone. Plus, I enjoy the set- up of a blog as compared to paper journaling.
- Website Creation: I actually know a few people who have done this for various reasons; I actually just made a website for my school’s National Honors Society, and it turned out really amazing. I had lots of fun with it, and I think a lot of people would be surprised at how easy it can be. You can use website building services like Wix or WordPress and customize off a template, or you can buy a domain and start from scratch. For your first time, I would start with a building site; you can start off a free template and not have to buy a domain. Their interfaces are also super easy to use, and if you want to get more into it, you can enable CSS and other coding programs so you can edit and have more control. After you get the hang of it, you can totally start from scratch, but any way you do it is a fun and rewarding experience.
- Film: If you are in IB Film, just note that the films you make for class shouldn’t be used for CAS. Use creations you made on your own time, without a grade requirement. In my opinion, this just looks like you put more effort into your CAS experience when you go this route. Film can be anything from a thirty-second stop motion to a full length feature film (which wow, that is INSANE). Whether you turn in the final product or all the pre-production to IB, the combination of creative skills used in film is a lot, so be sure you develop storylines or ideas you really enjoy!
- Photography: It seems like a lot of people (at least in my little corner of the world) have gotten into photography lately. I think that is amazing; I really enjoy seeing everyone’s pictures, especially when they capture moments between friends and just capture that human spirit. Or dogs, dogs are great too.
- Sewing/ Crochet/ Knitting: While photography has been exploding recently, sewing, crocheting, and knitting all seem to be suffering in popularity, and I really don’t know why??? If you do these things, you can make yourself clothing or blankets or pillows, and I don’t know how it can get much better than that. This is a project I have been working on for CAS, and I have already made a shirt and hemmed quite a few pairs of jeans! It is the most validating thing to put something on that you designed and put together from scratch, especially when it looks great on you!
- Makeup: I don’t care what anyone says, makeup is art. I have seen girls’ eye shadow that belongs on the ceiling of a cathedral- just gorgeous work. And it is on their face. Makeup is really cool, and I would suggest you take lots of pictures to show off the creativity that goes into makeup. If more stage makeup or special effects are your thing, think about costume design!
- Portfolios: Whatever you end up doing for CAS, you are going to want to be able to prove to the IB that you did it. Most of the time, that involves taking lots of pictures or sending in audio/ visual files. I think another way you can really show your creativity is by choosing an interesting outlet for your portfolio. Try making a website, an Instagram/ Twitter/ Tumblr just for your CAS experiences, or put together a scrapbook. Putting all of your CAS activities together can actually count as another CAS activity. Inception!
This is only a tiny sliver of ideas you can use for the Creativity portion of CAS! I hope you found something that sparked your interest, or maybe even inspired you to make something completely new. If so, like this post and comment! I want to know what you guys are doing for the Creativity portion of your IB CAS journey!