Category Archives: Fluency Thinking

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building”

Author/illustrator Christy Hale pairs children building with concrete poetry alongside photos of structures from around the world.

Readers will see how kids’ constructions can be expressed in the works of architects.

Backmatter includes explanations about the buildings and the architects who designed the buildings. Quotes from each architect demonstrate their thoughts about design and creative process.

This story promotes creative components ofwonder, flexible thinking, and creative expression.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because of the children’s buildings being paired with an architect’s structure demonstrates to readers how something simple can become complex. It inspires readers to compare form and design and wonder what they can create with materials they have laying around the house. I love children’s poetry and appreciate how the concrete poetry celebrates the joy of building.

TITLE: Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

AUTHOR: Christy Hale

ILLUSTRATOR: Christy Hale

PUBLISHER: Lee & Low Books, 2012

AGE GROUP: 4-7

TOPIC(S): architecture, building

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: wonder, flexible thinking, creative expression

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Research buildings with unique structures. Pick one. What materials that around your house most resemble your building’s structure? Build the building using your materials.

2) Play with wooden blocks.

“The maple wood blocks…are in my fingers to this day.” -Architect Frank Lloyd Wright

3) Utilize different types of building blocks to build an Outer Space city. In what ways do the different types of blocks work together?

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Christy Hale, visit:

http://christyhale.com/biography.html

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can An Ice Cube Tray Be?

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can An Ice Cube Tray Be?

Here is a plain, boring ice cube tray. Let’s change it into something else.

What else can you use it for?

Brainstorm a list of ways an ice cube tray could be used.

Here are a few to get you started:  storing buttons, sorting items, make edible treats with “hidden” frozen treasures inside them, a water collector, a part for a new invention

There’s a shark floating in my drink! If you could change an ice cube’s shape, what shape would it be? What would you use it for?

How could you use this tray of ice cubes to teach someone about the United States?

Pretend you are planning a birthday party for a worm, how else could an ice cube tray used?

Write a short story, using an ice cube as the main character. Besides melting, what else could your ice cube main character’s problem?

Have a cool day!

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

Catriona Pollard – “Sowing New Seeds” www.TheArtofWeaving.com.au

Creative thinkers sometimes take what someone else has done and think about ways it can be improved. Australian fiber artist, Catriona Pollard takes natural weaving materials to create art. Her baskets connect people to nature. When working with foraged and discarded plant material, she “listens” to the material, weaving and shaping it into what it wants to be to create her unique organic sculptures.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

First, think about the purpose of a basket. Is used to hold things, to carry things, or to be home to an animal? Brainstorm other ways a basket can be used. Will it hang from a wall? Will someone use it? From your list, pick one purpose.

Second, make a list of different materials that can a basket can be made from. Choose one material to use when creating your basket.

Third, think about how you can make your basket unique. Remember it needs to achieve its purpose.

Fourth, sketch out your design.

Fifth, gather materials you will need and begin to create your basket. Don’t worry if your design does not work at first. Sometimes it takes several tries and revision before it works. Your design may take on a different approach than what you originally thought and that is okay.

Sixth, elaborate on your basket design. What embellishments or decorations would you like to add (or not add)? What can be added or taken away to improve your basket’s function?

Seventh, proudly use and display your basket.

You can also use this creative thinking technique called Scamper to help you design your basket.

S = Substitute:  Remove some part and replace it with something else.

C = Combination:  Join or force together two or more elements of your subject to develop a solution.

A = Adapt:  Change some part so that it works where before it didn’t work.

M = Magnify or modify:  Consider the attributes of the subject and change them. Attributes include: size, shape, other dimensions, texture, color, position, etc.

P = Put to other uses:  Think about your subject – why it exists, what it is used for, what it’s supposed to do. Then think up new and unusual purposes.           

E = Eliminate:  Remove any or all elements of the subject to find another solution.

R = Rearrange or reverse:  Look at the subject from different perspectives. Turn it upside-down, inside-out. Make it go backwards, against the direction it was intended to go or be used. Similar to Reverse, modify the order of operations or any other hierarchy involved.

EXTENDED CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about Catriona Pollard and her creative process, visit: http://www.catrionapollard.com/art/  and watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZHySibDdoA

To practice your weaving skills, create an easy paper basket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX2Tw40K5DY