Category Archives: Flexible Thinking

Creative Thinking Prompt: Reinvent the Wheel

Creative Thinking Prompt: Reinvent the Wheel

Originality, an elemental component of creative thinking, takes the usual and makes it unusual. Let’s take the wheel, a common object, and make it original.

What makes a wheel a wheel?

Make a list of all the different types of wheels.

What traits do all wheels have in common?

Brainstorm different ways or purposes that a wheel can be used.

Then, use SCAMPER to reinvent the wheel.

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 perspectivesTurn 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.

SCAMPER was developed by Bob Eberle based upon Alex Osborn’s creating thinking questions. Alex Osborn is the originator of brainstorming. Scamper is based upon seven creative thinking principles. Each principle views your idea in a different manner. By asking questions related to each principle, Scamper gets you thinking about which areas of your idea you can improve.

ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet

ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet”

An ABC circus that good enough to eat!

Author/illustrator Juana Medina’s pasta characters and use of alliteration create a very entertaining way to learn the alphabet.

This book promotes creativity, originality, and flexible thinking.

TITLE: ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet

AUTHOR: Juana Medina

ILLUSTRATOR: Juana Medina

PUBLISHER: Viking, 2017

AGE GROUP: 4-6

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, originality, flexible thinking

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick a food group. Use that food to create a variety of characters.

2) Using dried pasta or cooked spaghetti, form letters of the alphabet.

3) Invent your own pasta characters and tell their stories.

 EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Juana Medina, visit:

http://www.juanamedina.com

I also love this counting salad book by Juana Medina.

Creative Thinking Prompt: The Green Blob

Creative Thinking Prompt:  The Green Blob

Brainstorm a list of at least 100 things that are green. Circle the most unusual ones.

Brainstorm a list of at least 100 things that move. Circle the most unusual ones.

Now take one circled item from each list and combine them to invent The Green Blob.

Your green blob can be anything – a thing, a creature, a storybook character, or a new invention.

Sketch out your blob.

What are the characteristics of your blob?

What makes your blob unique?

What does your blob do?

Name your blob.

EXTENDED LEARNING CONNECTIONS:

Just for fun. To make green slime (recipe included), visit:

Kids in the Kitchen: Homemade Slime!

What Pete Ate A – Z

What Pete Ate A – Z”

WHAT PETE ATE A – Z is not your typical alphabet book! This ABC story follows Pete the Dog as he devours a myriad of things, which he shouldn’t eat such as an accordion, a camera, a pocketbook, and everything to make an egg sandwich. Doesn’t Pete know the difference between edible and inedible?

The letter “G.”

Here’s Pete! What a dog!

This book promotes humor, creativity, imagination, and originality.

TITLE: What Pete Ate A – Z

AUTHOR: Maira Kalman

ILLUSTRATOR: Maira Kalman

PUBLISHER: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2001

AGE GROUP: 5-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: humor, creativity, originality, imagination

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick a letter from the alphabet. Brainstorm a list of inedible items that Pete the Dog could eat. Now write a tongue twister about Pete eating some of those items.

2) What happens to Pete at the end of the book after he’s eaten all those inedible things? Write an ending to Pete’s alphabet eating journey.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Maira Kalman, visit:

http://www.mairakalman.com/books/children/

Creative Thinking Prompt: Unusual Knitting

Creative Thinking Prompt: Unusual Knitting

Knitting Artist Dave Cole

knits using unusual materials such as lead-lined fabric and Kevlar and using unusual knitting needles like excavation machines and rifles.

This teddy bear he knitted from fiberglass.

@ http://flavorwire.com/140464/10-artists-who-use-yarn-as-their-medium/5

This flag he knitted using John Deere excavation machines.

Titled “The Knitting Machine.”

@ http://davecoledavecole.com/#/the-knitting-machine/

 Creative Thinking Prompt: Brainstorm a list of knitting materials that someone can use to knit with. Brainstorm a second list of items that can be used as knitting needles. Pair one of your knitting materials with one of your knitting needles items, then Google to see if anyone has ever tried knitting in that fashion.

EXTENDED LEARNING CONNECTIONS:

To view more of Dave Cole art, visit:

https://spinhandspun.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/dave-cole/

Kids can knit with their fingers. Watch this easy tutorial to start creating your own knitting handiworks.

‪How to Finger Knit, Episode 80 by Fiber Flux at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsZsUBYU0qU

My Heart Is Like A Zoo

My Heart Is Like A Zoo”

In My Heart Is Like A Zoo, author/illustrator Michael Hall writes in rhyme, exploring zoo animals as metaphors for love traits such as steady, happy, and silly. Made from a variety of heart shapes, his animal illustrations further depict the message of love.

“Eager as a beaver.”

“Quiet as a caterpillar wearing knitted socks.”

How many hearts can you count throughout this book?

This book promotes inventive, originality, analogical, and creative thinking.

TITLE: My Heart Is Like A Zoo

AUTHOR: Michael Hall

ILLUSTRATOR: Michael Hall

PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2010

AGE GROUP: 3-6

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: inventive, originality, analogical, and creative thinking

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) From construction paper, cut a variety of heart shapes. Combine, arrange and rearrange these shapes to create a new heart-shaped animal. What’s your animal’s name? What part of love does your animal represent? As a group, create a classroom heart book, My Heart Is Full Of Animals.

2) Draw a heart shape. Fill it with heart designs. Cut it out and give it to someone you love.

3) Construct a 3-D heart using only heart shaped cutouts.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Michael Hall, visit:

http://www.michaelhallstudio.com/index.html

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can A Hand Be?

http://worldwhiteweb.net

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can A Hand Be?

Artist Guido Daniele paints on a very unique surface. Hands!

He sees a hand as a turtle

Turtle Caretta Caretta – Ph. Guido Daniele

© Guido Daniele

and as a tree

Tree – Ph. Guido Daniele

© Guido Daniele

and as a turkey.

Turkey – Ph. Guido Daniele

© Guido Daniele

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can A Hand Be?

Brainstorm ideas for what else a hand can be.

Here are a few ideas to get started – a communicator, a language maker.

Brainstorm other unique surfaces that an artist can paint on?

Here are a few ideas to get started – a leaf, a fire hydrant, a kitchen faucet.

Try your hand at painting on an unusual surface. Just make sure that you have permission before painting.

To view Guido Daniele’s artwork, visit:

http://www.guidodaniele.com/hand-painting/handpaint-art.html

http://blog.keralites.net/2011/12/incredible-hand-paintings-of-guido.html

Tomorrow’s Alphabet

Tomorrow’s Alphabet”

In Tomorrow’s Alphabet, you’ll have to think ahead. Not your ordinary alphabet storybook, author George Shannon takes a different perspective, taking what happens today and showing what it becomes tomorrow.

   

M is for caterpillar – tomorrow’s MOTH.”

  

O is for acorn – tomorrow’s OAK TREE

In the back of the book, readers are challenged to create their own tomorrow alphabet. Or try their hand at creating yesterday’s alphabet.

This book promotes discovery, different perspective, and inventive thinking.

TITLE: Tomorrow’s Alphabet

AUTHOR: George Shannon

ILLUSTRATOR: Donald Crews

PUBLISHER: Greenwillow Books, 1996

AGE GROUP: 4-7

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, different perspective, inventive thinking

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Make an ABC list of your favorite sounding words. Your words can begin or end with each letter of the alphabet.

For example, A – apricot B – bumble C – cubic

2) Sing the ABC song in reverse, beginning with Z.

3) Write an ABC poem of your favorite things, using each letter to start the next line of your poem.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author George Shannon, visit:

http://www.georgeshannonauthor.com

To learn more about illustrator Donald Crews, visit:

http://www.kidsreads.com/authors/donald-crews

Creative Thinking Prompt: Paintblots

Creative Thinking Prompt: Paint Blots

What do you see in the above paint blot? I see a person facing left and a person facing right. Traditionally, ink blots are blotted patterns of spilled ink that are used in personality tests. Instead of using black ink, I used gold paint. And we will use blots for fun – to feed our imaginations.

I see a praying mantis and a dinosaur skull. What do you see?

I see a maple leaf. When I turn it upside-down, I see a turtle. What do you see?

Create your own paint blots. Fold a piece of paper in half. Unfold it. On one half of the paper, place a few blobs of paint. Fold the paper and pat your hand over the paper. Unfold. What images do you see? Turn the paper 90 degrees. What do you see now? Turn it again. What do you see again? Ask others what they see? How does their interpretations differ from yours?

One Family

onefamilycover

“One Family

 How many things can One be? One isn’t just singular – it is made of many.

onefamilyp1

A family comes in all shapes and sizes. In the book, One Family celebrates families and their individuality.

onefamilyp2onefamilyp3

Illustrator Blanca Gomez’s pictures show what else One can be as well as the different varieties that families come in.

This book promotes flexible thinking, individuality, and parts of a whole.

TITLE: One Family

AUTHOR: George Shannon

ILLUSTRATOR: Blanca Gomez

PUBLISHER: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2015

AGE GROUP: 4-7

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: flexible thinking, individuality, and parts of a whole

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Think of one as plural. What else is one? Make a list. Also, think globally. For example, one community and one country.

2) What number makes up your family? Once you have your number, list three other things that is that number. For example, if 12 is your family number, then… One is twelve. One dozen eggs. One bag of tennis balls. One family.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author George Shannon, visit:

http://www.georgeshannonauthor.com

To learn more about illustrator Blanca Gomez, visit:

http://cosasminimas.com/about/