Creative Thinking Prompt: I See You
First, brainstorm different ways that “I see you” can be interpreted.
Select from your list a few ways and combine them. Play around with these combinations. Have fun!
Which combination is most unusual? Which one creates emotion or an “aha” moment? Which one is “boring”? Which one has humor? Can a trait from one be substituted for a trait in another combination? Has you seen this done before? If so, how can you make it original?
Add details to your combination. Extend it.
These are some of my thoughts and where they led as I went through the creative process.
A) eyeball art; play on words I Sea You-> an image of the ocean in the iris of an eye
B) graffiti art; font; text message ICU -> could mean an emergency room or combine with graffiti art to create images within the letters of ICU to create meaning for I See You
C) body movement; sign language -> through a telescope or binoculars is an image of you in the sea
Creative Thinking Prompt: How many ways can you create meaning for “I See You”?
Sidewalk Circus, a wordless book, brings the Garibaldi Circus to town in an unusual way. No one notices these shadowy circus performers at a crowded bus stop except for a pair of children. Tight ropewalking construction workers. A juggling pancake flipping cook. The Flying Trapeze Brothers window washers.
This book promotes imagination, discovery, and flexible thinking.
TITLE: Sidewalk Circus
AUTHOR: Paul Fleischman
ILLUSTRATOR: Kevin Hawkes
PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2004
AGE GROUP: 4-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, discovery, flexible thinking
1) Make a list of forest animals. How can each animal’s shadow be a circus performer? For example, a duck flying up from the pond is the cannonball act.
2) How might you plan birthday party games as circus acts? Which circus act is your favorite?
To learn more about author Paul Fleischman, visit: http://www.paulfleischman.net/index.htm
To learn more about illustrator Kevin Hawkes, visit:
“The Green Umbrella”
On a rainy day, Elephant went for a walk with his green umbrella. Along the way, he encounters animals that think his umbrella is something else. Hedgehog thinks it’s a boat while Cat thinks it’s a tent. Bear thinks it’s a flying machine. Elephant tells them that they are mistaken. Eventually, Elephant shares his umbrella with his new friends.
This book promotes flexible thinking and imagination.
TITLE: The Green Umbrella
AUTHOR: Jackie Azúa Kramer
ILLUSTRATOR: Maral Sassouni
PUBLISHER: NorthSouth Books Inc., 2017
AGE GROUP: 5-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: flexible thinking, imagination
1) Change the color of the green umbrella. Brainstorm a list of other things the umbrella can be.
2) Elephant used his umbrella to protect himself from the rain and the sun. What are some other things that serve the same purpose? Pick one item from that list. What else can that item be used for?
To learn more about author Jackie Azúa Kramer, visit:
To learn more about illustrator Maral Sassouni, visit:
“Ed Emberley’s ABC”
Each letter of the alphabet tells a visual story while demonstrating how to write the letter by using an animal whose name begins with that letter writing the letter using an item which also begins with that letter.
Zebra rides a Zeppelin blimp, stringing lights as he goes to form the letter Z.
In the back of the book, Emberley demonstrates how to write each alphabet letter and lists items to find on each letter page (items start with that specific letter).
This book promotes creativity, imagination, nature and flexible thinking.
TITLE: A Child of Books
AUTHOR: Ed Emberley
ILLUSTRATOR: Ed Emberley
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company, 1978
AGE GROUP: 4-6
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, imagination, nature, flexible thinking
1) What’s your favorite word? In what ways might you connect each letter to form your word? Remember there is no right or wrong answer. Get creative.
2) Brainstorm a list of animals that start with a letter of the alphabet. Pick one animal from that list. What trait(s) of that animal can be used to show how to write the letter? Sketch it out.
To learn more about author/illustrator Ed Emberley, visit:
Creative Thinking Prompt: Design Your Pool
In the dog days of summer, wouldn’t it be great if you had a pool that had everything you wanted? Design a pool that fits your style.
Here are some pool designs to inspire you.
Think Deeper: What else can your pool be used for besides swimming?
Creative Thinking Prompt: Installation Artist Chiharu Shiota
Photo credit: Sunhi Mang
Artist Chiharu Shiota uses yarn and repurposed materials to create powerful, provoking art.
The Key in the Hand 2015 at the 56th Venice Biennale
Chiharu Shiota suspends over 50,000 keys collected from world-wide donors with weaved yarn over a wooden boat. The keys represent feelings and memories while the red yarn represents lines of memory and how they relate to one another.
Creative Thinking Prompt: In what ways might you use a key besides opening a door? Brainstorm a list of possibilities of what you can do with a key. What else can a key represent? How might you incorporate keys into an art project?
To learn more about Chiharu Shiota and her work, visit:
Infinity Lines 2017 at Savannah College of Art and Design
Meow Monday from the Bonnie Bumble series written by Phyllis Root begins with this opening line: One Monday, Bonnie Bumble’s pussy willows all burst into bloom.
The kittens raise such a ruckus the cows won’t give milk and the hens won’t lay eggs. Bonnie pets, brushes and plays with the kittens but nothing works.
Then Bonnie remembers the milkweed. After feeding, they curl up for a catnap. The farm returns to normal. Everything is calm until…
the dogwood blooms.
This book promotes fluency, flexible thinking and imagination.
TITLE: Meow Monday
AUTHOR: Phyllis Root
ILLUSTRATOR: Helen Craig
PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2000
AGE GROUP: 4-6
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: fluency, flexible thinking, imagination
1) From a plant resource book, find plant names that you can use to create a new plant like the author did with her dogwood plant. Sketch your new plant. Name your new plant.
2) What would happen if lions barked and hippos chirped? Imagine what the world would be like if animals changed how they “talked.”
To learn more about author Phyllis Root, visit:
To learn more about illustrator Helen Craig, visit:
Creative Thinking Prompt: Is This A Dog?
Is this a dog? No.
Is this a pepperoni pizza? No.
Is this a crab? No.
Take another look or in this case take a taste. All these images are cakes created by cake artist Debbie Goard whose sculpted cakes are so realistic they don’t look like they could be eaten. Some of her clients include Pixar, Goggle, Playstation, and Muscle Milk.
Cake Artist Debbie Goard
Creative Thinking Prompt: Similar to Debbie Goard, what type of material could you use to create something that disguises the material and leads your audience to believe that your product is something that it is not? Brainstorm a list of materials. For each material, brainstorm what product could be created using that material.
To learn more about Debbie Goard, visit:
Creative Thinking Prompt: Sugar Painting
A Chinese traditional folk art, sugar painting is a skilled art form that is fading away in today’s society. To be trained in this art form, sugar painters often first train as a traditional painter. Using a marble slab as a canvas, melted caramelized sugar, a ladle type spoon, and a metal spatula as their tools, sugar artists create phoenix, dragons, and koi fish. Once created, the art is attached to a wooden stick to eat.
Watch this three minute video to view a sugar koi fish being made.
To learn more about China’s sugar art, visit:
Kids can paint with sugar, too.
Creative Thinking Prompt: An Egg of Ideas
◊ Go on an egg hunt for ideas. Make a list of subjects. Write each subject on a small piece of paper. Fill the plastic eggs with the papers. Hide the eggs. After the egg hunt, students make a list of “I wonder” questions that interest them about the subject in each egg. Use the 5W1H creative thinking technique – who, what, when, where, why and how.
◊ What else can an egg be? Brainstorm for at least ten minutes. Circle the most unusual idea.
◊ In what ways might an egg be used? Brainstorm for at least ten minutes.
◊ Decorate an egg in a way that disguises the egg.
◊ Write a short story about an adventure that an egg might have from the viewpoint of the egg.
◊ Invent a game using plastic eggs.
These activities encourage curiosity, flexible thinking, perspective, and imagination.