When I student taught at an urban k-2 school, I found that the students didn’t quite use their imagination in art as much as they should; rather they copied me, neighbors, or existing characters and concepts. I put text on this image, printed it out on 11x17 paper, and put it up in the room. I was amazed that even though many of then couldn’t read, they knew what Spongebob was saying and it helped a lot when I said “remember, Spongebob says you should use your own imagination!”
I just got through my first week as a first year teacher in a K-6 suburban school. I kind of thought the older kids would find it lame or childish, but every grade level loved it when this showed up in the slideshow! I think almost every child has seen this episode and is then able to join in on our discussion of what “using your imagination” means. Definitely printing this out for my classroom too!
If you teach elementary school art, feel free to print it for yourself as well!
(in the show, he says “use your imagination” but I included the word “own” to encourage original work, not just drawing existing characters in their art.)