Tag Archives: analogical thinking

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:



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


PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2010


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


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.


To learn more about author/illustrator Michael Hall, 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:



Red Sings From Treetops


“Red Sings From Treetops”

“In Spring, Red sings from treetops. Red squirms on the road after rain. Green peeks from buds. While sounds like storms.” – Joyce Sidman

Written in beautiful lyrical verse, Red Sings From Treetops, a Caldecott Honor Book, explores nature as colors throughout the span of a year.


Through Joyce Sidman’s vivid sensory language and the gorgeous illustrative work of Pamela Zagarenski, readers’ senses are fully engaged as well as their critical thinking skills.

This story promotes analogical thinking, flexible thinking, imagination, and critical thinking.

TITLE: Red Sings From Treetops, A Year in Colors

AUTHOR: Joyce Sidman

ILLUSTRATOR: Pamela Zagarenski

PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin, 2009


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: analogical thinking, flexible thinking, imagination, critical thinking


1) Look around a room. Notice the colors of things. Pick one color to represent two or three objects in that room. Use action verbs, a few adjectives and a simile or metaphor to describe each object.

For example:

BROWN stands on sturdy legs

and rests its cushioned arms.

Frolicking BROWN chases

bouncing spheres.

What does BROWN represent?

Did you guesss a couch and a dog?

2) What’s another word? Create a list of 5 things in your bedroom. Next to each item, write another word or words for that item. For example: bedspread – a toasted sandwich wrap. Then using those alternate words, create a poem about your room.


To learn more about author Joyce Sidman, visit: http://www.joycesidman.com

To learn more about illustrator Pamela Zagarenski, visit:


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: http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/

(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.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Heritage Shapes Us


Creative Thinking Prompt: Heritage Shapes Us

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrated in the town of Puebla, Mexico to commemorate the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a popular holiday celebrating Mexican heritage and culture.

What is your heritage? Did your family immigrate from another country? Is there a certain day when your family celebrates its traditions and culture? For many of us, our family heritages are blended because family members have descended from more than one country. Does your family celebrate more than one culture? If you aren’t able to find out answers to these questions, think about another culture that interests you. What makes that culture special to you? What cultural holiday would you like to celebrate?

Think Deeper:  If you could be any geometric shape, what shape would you be? In what ways are you like the shape you chose? Make a piñata using the shape you picked.

Watch this two minute video to learn how to make a mini pyramid piñata. How can you use the information presented in the video to design and create your geometric-shaped piñata?



To learn more about the history of the piñata, visit: http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/459-history-of-the-piñata

“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:


“What Do You Mean I’m Stardust?”

What Do You Mean I’m Stardust?”


You Are Stardust

Using simple, poetic text, author Elin Kelsey writes,“The sea within you is as salty as the ocean.” You Are Stardust, a creative nonfiction picture book, introduces readers to the unique connections humans have with nature, showing readers a different way to look at and value their world.


Soyeon Kim’s beautiful artwork merges real-life materials, sketching and painting to produce inventive three-dimensional dioramas. This book promotes imagination, nature, analogy, and making connections.

TITLE: You Are Stardust

AUTHOR: Elin Kelsey

ARTWORK: Soyeon Kim

PUBLISHER: Owlkids Books, 2012


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, nature, analogy, making connections


1) In the story, the author refers to rainforests and ocean algae as the Earth’s lungs. Why do you think she say this? What other parts of nature are like a part of a human body?

2) Make A Diorama. Watch this video to see how.



To learn more about author Elin Kelsey, visit:


To learn more about Soyeon Kim’s artwork, visit:


For related book activities, an interview with author Elin Kelsey, a video on making dioramas by Soyeon Kim and more, check out: http://www.owlkidsbooks.com/YouAreStardust.aspx

Creative Thinking Prompt: Analogical Collage

Another element of creative thinking is to think analogically. Analogical thinking is  comparing one subject with another subject to discover how they relate to each other,  in other words what things they have in common.



Aristotle believed that whoever is master of metaphor is the master of thought.

Creative Thinking Prompt: How Are You Like______? Using Collage to Make Analogies.

Each student will create a personal collage, arranging and pasting cut pictures from magazines, newspapers, catalogs, etc. that metaphorically represent him/her into different patterns or associations.

Give students time to reflect on their collage. Have students write three sentences about what they discovered about themselves using metaphors or similes. Include this sentence,  I am a lot like_____________ because _______________.

Think Deeper:

After student has finished his/her collage. Place all students’ collages on a board.

After allowing time for students to compare, think, and reflect, have each student finish this sentence about the collage as a whole –

Our class is a lot like ____________ because _______________.

(This activity was inspired by the book, Cracking Creativity, written by Michael Michalko.)