Category Archives: analogical thinking

Creative Thinking Prompt: Surrealism

Creative Thinking Prompt: Surrealism

 Rene Magritte

Surrealism art is an art form that reunites the world of dream and fantasy with everyday reality, a mix of conscious and unconscious realms.

Artist Rene Magritte’s surrealism artwork challenges others, in an unexpected manner, to view his art not as it appears to be, but as it appears not. For Magritte, what is concealed is more important than what is open to view.

This art by Rene Magritte looks like a pipe but its translation is “This is not a pipe.”

Creative Thinking Prompt: If this is not a pipe, what else can it be?

Brainstorm alternate uses for this item. Develop a new name for this “pipe”.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design A Chair That’s You

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design A Chair That’s You

A chair is a commonly used object. Here are some truly unique ones.

 rhino, walrus, octopus

 books and CDs

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design a chair that represents you. Use your imagination to create a chair that doesn’t resemble a traditional chair. Make it as original as you. What are some different types of chairs (rocking chair, throne, etc.)? What materials would you use and why? What is the purpose of your chair? What colors will you use? How will you decorate/embellish your chair? How will you use your chair? How many legs will your chair have? Will your chair have a back? What will the back look like? How will the seat of your chair be designed? Sketch your chair design.

To view some more interesting chairs, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Invent Your Own Idioms

“Icing On The Cake”

Icing or frosting makes a cake taste better than it would without the frosting. But what does it mean when you say “That’s icing on the cake”? This expression is an idiom. As an idiom it means something extra good is added to something that is already good.

Idioms are expressions that aren’t understood from the literal meanings of the separate words. Instead when those words are grouped together have a separate meaning of their own. For example:  raining cats and dogs doesn’t mean cats and dogs are falling from rainclouds, it means it is raining heavily. Break a leg doesn’t mean break a leg, it means good luck.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Invent Your Own Idioms

Write alternate meanings for these common idioms.

Joined at the hip

Take breath away

Drop like flies

Knock on wood

Write a new meaning for these made-up idioms.

The Icing on the Doughnut

The Syrup on the Pancake

The Ice on Icicle

Now think up your own idioms and their meanings.

To view other idioms and learn more about them, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Pushing Creative Bounds

Creative Thinking Prompt: Pushing Creative Bounds


©Christoph Niemann

Creative Christop Niemann pushes himself to become a better illustrator by stepping outside of his comfort zone. He picks a single object and looks at it, trying to envision how this object can become part of a larger image.

His book Sunday Sketching is a result of his internal drive to be creative.


To learn more about Christoph Niemann and his work, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create your own work of art, using a singular object and incorporating it into an image.

Here’s my work – Crocodile Key.


Think Deeper: Create a series of these artworks and use them to create a story.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Grow Your Creativity


Creative Thinking Prompt: Grow Your Creativity

Pick a plant that you like. It can be an indoor or outdoor plant. Make a sketch of your plant. How is your plant like you? It may seem that you and the plant have nothing in common with each other, but remember your brain is wired to find connections and patterns. It will keep thinking until it finds a connection. So give yourself time to think. Label the different parts of your plant – the leaves, the stem, the roots, maybe the pot it’s in, the buds, and the petals with how these parts are like you.

Think Deeper: Look up the definition of the word creative in a dictionary. Then Google the word creative. What does it mean to be creative? Now apply the meaning of being creative to yourself. How are you creative? Write an acrostic poem about your creativity using the word CREATIVE.

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Do You Dream?



Creative Thinking PromptWhat Do You Dream?

So that weird dream you had last night about taking a math test while eating an apple pie, what does it mean? Maybe you’re feeling stressed about taking the math test because you need a good grade. But what about that apple pie? Hmm…

Many people believe that dreams are symbolic. Dreams can be a direct message from your subconscious mind bringing awareness to your conscious mind – helping you to make sense of a problem you might be having or things you are worried about or goals you are trying to achieve. On the other hand, sometimes dreams are just plain silly – replaying images from your day, a book or TV.

Keep a dream journal next to your bed and write down your dreams as soon as you wake. Not only will you become more aware about yourself and your thoughts, but you might discover answers or steps to take to solve a problem you currently are working on.

Think Deeper: Since dreams can be personal, symbolic meanings can differ from person to person. For example, dreaming of a spider can represent a fear of being trapped for someone who doesn’t like spiders while for someone who likes spiders, a spider can represent a time to express yourself through writing.

Create a dream dictionary. Make a list of symbols that pop up in your dreams and assign your own meaning to those symbols.

For fun and to help inspire you to start your own dream dictionary, visit:

(Please note this website is for the general public, not kid specific.)

By the way, eating an apple pie in your dream could mean the taste of success or you’re hungry and craving pie.

“Fresh Delicious”


“Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers’ Market”

Irene Latham’s poetry in Fresh Delicious immerses readers into the world of vegetables and fruits found at a farmers’ market. Her poems paint vivid sensory imagery. “Blueberries are delicious. They burst in your mouth like flavor-filled fireworks.” Lettuce heads are “wrinkled faces wearing ruffled crowns.” Included in the back of the book are easy to make recipes. This book promotes nature, flexible thinking, and making analogies.


Bell peppers are compared to holiday ornaments.



a bouquet of minty green butterfly wings”

I love this poem!

TITLE: Fresh Delicious

AUTHOR: Irene Latham

ILLUSTRATOR: Mique Moriuchi

PUBLISHER: Wordsong, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: nature, flexible thinking, making analogies


1) Visit a farmer’s market. What fruits and vegetables did you see? Make a list of the vegetables you saw. From your list, create your own vegetable salad recipe.

2) Write a poem about an unusual vegetable (see images below). Think about how you might describe the vegetable to someone who has never seen it.


To learn more about author Irene Latham, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Mique Moriuchi, visit:

“When the Sun Shines on Antarctica”


“When the Sun Shines on Antarctica”

Themed on Antarctica, these fun poems dive into the unique flora, land formations, animals and insects that live in Antarctica. Readers will discover krill, brinicles as well as Gentoo penguins, Giant Petrels, midges and much more. Poet Irene Latham uses analogy perfectly to relate her subject matter to young readers. She compares a Giant Petrel bird to a giant garbage can. “His belly collects garbage and his beak is the lid that never closes.” And Humpback Whales are Antarctica’s concert singers.

whenthesunshinespage2“When The Sun Shines On Antarctica”

Gorgeous illustrations by Anna Wadham accompany each poem along with a sidebar paragraph explaining more in-depth the characteristics of each poem subject.



“A New Coat for Mrs. Wendell”

This poem talks fashion about the Wendell seal losing its coat to reveal a new shiny one. Included in the back of the book is a glossary and a list of further reading resources. This book promotes nature, flexible thinking, making analogies, different perspectives and discovery.

TITLE: When The Sun Shines On Antarctica

AUTHOR: Irene Latham


PUBLISHER: Millbrook Press, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: nature, flexible thinking, making analogies, different perspectives, discovery


1) Research an animal subject from a continent other than the continent on which you live. Explore how your subject interacts with its environment and what attributes it has. Make an analogy by comparing your subject to something that is familiar to you. Then write a poem using this comparison.

2) Compose a class book, All Around the World Animals, based on students’ poems written from the above prompt.


To learn more about author Irene Latham, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Anna Wadham, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Metamorphosis Art

Metamorphosis Art


Metamorphosis art consists of sequential drawings, photos, etc. depicting the evolution of one object into another representational.


Creative Thinking Prompt:  Try your hand at creating metamorphosis art. Choice an object or animal that you’d like to morph. Your choice could be an animal that transforms into an object or an object transforming into an animal. Think about what changes your object would go through as it evolves into its final stage of transformation. As you sketch the transformational stages of your object, your final stage may turn into something other than you had originally planned. That is okay because the art process is fluid.

Think Deeper:  Find images of metamorphosis art. What message is the artist conveying through his/her transmutation choices? What connections can be made between the final stage of the transformation and the first stage of the transformation? What other final transformations could you image the original object being?

To view the hand to rabbit metamorphosis art, visit

To view the fish to eye metamorphosis art, visit

Creative Thinking Prompt: Are you a dessert, an entrée, a sidedish, or an appetizer?


Are you a dessert, an entrée, a sidedish, or an appetizer?

Creative Thinking Prompt:  Many things make up you and those things make you unique. Make a list of the things you like, include your interests, too. Make a list of the things you dislike. Using “ingredients” from each list, write a recipe about what things make up you. Don’t forget to write instructions for how to make your recipe. Create a unique name for your food dish.

To find recipe templates, Google “how to write a recipe template.”

Enjoy Cooking!