Tag Archives: brainstorming

Creative Thinking Prompt: Is This A Dog?

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.

Extended Connections:

To learn more about Debbie Goard, visit:

https://www.debbiedoescakes.net/the-artist

Creative Thinking Prompt: An Egg of Ideas

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.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Building with Ice Cubes

Ice is slippery. Ice is wet. Ice melts. Then how can you build with ice?

Creative Thinking Prompt: Build a structure using ice cubes, using the creative thinking strategy SCAMPER. SCAMPER was developed by Bob Eberle based upon Alex Osborn’s creating thinking questions. Alex Osborn is the originator of brainstorming.

SCAMPER

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.

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

What else can I use instead of clear water to create ice cubes?

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

What things can I combine together to make a better ice cube?

What can I use to stick the cubes together?

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

What might I do to change the structure of the ice cubes to make them not melt quickly?

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

How will smaller or larger ice cubes work within my structure?

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.           

How else can I use an ice cube?

E = Eliminate:  Remove any or all elements of the subject.

What can I remove from my structure to make it stronger and last longer?

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.

What would happen if I rearrange the ice cubes in my structure?

As I used SCAMPER more questions popped into my mind.

  • How would using pop, sugar water, jello, or millk affect the structure of an ice cube?
  • Would the different ingredients make the cube stick together easier? Would it melt less?
  • What if I let the cubes melt a little and then refreeze them – would my structure “stick” together?
  • How would small and large cubes help with building my structure?
  • Is there a better way to build an ice structure?
  • What if I froze a smaller cube inside a larger cube?
  • How can I make my structure colorful?

To make glow-in-the-dark cubes, visit: http://www.learnplayimagine.com/2012/02/glow-in-dark-water-beads.html

Think Deeper: Build an ice cube arch.

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Does & What Doesn’t

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Does & What Doesn’t

For this creative thinking prompt, I am taking inspiration from a page in Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s THE WONDER BOOK.

called “Further Clarification”

What Grows on Trees & What Doesn’t Grow on Trees

 

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Goes On A Pizza & What Doesn’t Go On A Pizza

Brainstorm for two minutes a list of “Things That Go On A Pizza.”

Then brainstorm “What Doesn’t Go On A Pizza” for two minutes.

Look over your two lists and circle the two most wacky items.

Next brainstorm lists for “What Goes In A Snow Pile” & “What Doesn’t Go In a Snow Pile”.

Think Deeper: Make up your own What Does & What Doesn’t and give to your family and friends to think up.

Creative Thinking Prompt: I Wonder

questionmark

Creative Thinking Prompt: I Wonder

Today these are the things I wonder about:

I wonder…

why pickles taste sour

how high butterflies soar

how many grass blades are in my yard

do worms feel coldness

why do I like milk chocolate sometimes and other times I only eat dark chocolate

how does my phone know how to spell words better than me

who said 1+1=2

what if my bike had three wheels parallel to each other, would I ride safer

why does peanut butter and jelly taste good to some people and not others

what would it be like to be Benjamin Franklin’s apprentice

why do we grin when we feel happy and frown when we are sad

how our brains store our memories and why I can’t remember certain things like geometry

what would happen if I mixed dirt, sand and paint together

why I can’t run as fast as a cheetah

if I lived in an alternate universe would I have a superpower

What do you wonder?

Create your own I wonder list. Think up as many wonders as you can in 15 minutes. Then pick one wonder and discover the answer using your imagination and different resources such as experts and books.

Think Deeper: In a month or two or even three, create another list. Did you have any new wonders? Did you find any answers to your original I wonder list?

Creative Thinking Prompt: Bridging

london_bridge_river_thames

London Bridge at the River Thames, England

Creative Thinking Prompt: Bridging

When you see the word bridge, you probably think of a structure that spans across water with the purpose to cross over the water. Now what if you think of a bridge as something that connects, how does that change what you picture as a bridge?

Brainstorm a list of what else can be a bridge. To help you get started: a smell is a bridge to a memory; a prized family recipe is a bridge to a family’s history; a story is a bridge to an experience.

Think Deeper: In addition to concrete and wood, brainstorm what else can compose a bridge.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Decorate Your Mind

Creative Thinking Prompt: Decorate Your Mind

brainspark

You decorate the cover of your notebooks. You fill the edges of your paper with doodles. You organize your bedroom walls with posters and pictures. What if you could decorate your mind? What would you “hang” inside your mind to spark new ideas?

Brainstorm those things that inspire, interest and make you think.

When you brainstorm, write down all your ideas as they come to you. Do not analyze them. This is not the time for that because you want to think up the most original, creative idea you can. The more ideas you have, the more unusual your ideas become. Eventually, you run out of ideas. Don’t stop. Push yourself to think of at least five more ideas because at this point unique ideas originate.

Sketch your mind with these “decorations”.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design A Shoe That’s Perfect For You

shoesconverse

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design A Shoe That’s Perfect For You

What story will your shoes tell about you? As you design your shoes to be as unique as you are, here are some things to think about.

What’s the purpose of your shoe?

What material to use for the sole?- wood, plastic, rubber, cotton

Will your shoes be flat, have a small heel, have a large heel?

Will you engrave a design like your name on the bottom of your shoe? Will you hide a secret superpower on the bottom of your shoes? A secret compartment?

Laces? No laces? Colored laces? White laces? Tied? Untied?

The shoe tongue – color? shape? no tongue?

Will your shoe be open-toed, open-heel, cut-out shapes on the sides, and/or cover your entire foot?

How high will the back of your shoe go? Ankle? Knee? Mid-calf?

Will there be a logo on the back of the shoe?

What designs will you put on the left side of the right shoe and the right side of the left shoe? How will these designs reflect a part of you?

Sketch your shoe design. Give your shoes a name.

Think Deeper:  What if you turned a pair of shoes into a food item? Creative shoe designers at ShoeBakery have done just that.  Here are a few tempting, but unedible shoes.

shoescake

shoesicecream

shoesgingerbread

Visit http://www.shoebakery.com to see more inventive designs.

Now you:  Design a pair of shoes that look like your favorite food item or a mode of transportation.

Creative Thinking Prompt: There’s a Recipe for That?

Creative Thinking Prompt:  There’s a Recipe for That?

recipecard

When you brainstorm, write down all your ideas as they come to you. Do not analyze them. This is not the time for that because you want to think up the most original, creative idea you can. The more ideas you have, the more unusual your ideas become. Eventually, you run out of ideas. Don’t stop. Push yourself to think of at least five more ideas because at this point unique ideas originate.

Brainstorm a list of ice cream flavors. Brainstorm a list of breakfast dishes. Pick one flavor from each list and combine the two to invent a new dish. Give your new dish an unusual name.

Things to think about:

When should your dish be eaten – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, special treat, birthdays, holidays?

What makes your dish special?

Where can your dish be eaten?

How can your dish be served?

What ingredients do you need to make this dish?

What kitchen tools – pots, spoons, spatulas, bowls, etc. are needed?

 Write step-by-step directions of your new dish. Don’t forget to list the ingredients and the kitchen tools you’ll need.

For free printable recipe cards, visit:

http://tipnut.com/free-printable-recipe-cards-a-nice-collection/

Think Deeper: 

Write a story about your invented dish. How did it come about? Will this recipe become a special tradition for your family? Is it magical? What if someone from outer space ate your dish, what would happen?

P.S. How does an egg laugh? Yolk! Yolk!

When you brainstorm, write down all your ideas as they come to you. Do not analyze them. This is not the time for that because you want to think up the most original, creative idea you can. The more ideas you have, the more unusual your ideas become. Eventually, you run out of ideas. Don’t stop. Push yourself to think of at least five more ideas because at this point unique ideas originate.

Don’t Just Look, Read Those Pictures

Creative Thinking Prompt: Don’t Just Look, Read Those Pictures

heartOur minds can quickly assign meaning to images. A stop sign means stop. A heart means love. The letters of the alphabet are lines and curves assembled in specific patterns to create meaning. Even math uses symbols such as  ∞ , >,  ≠  to denote meaning.

When additional images are added to a single image, what happens? A picture.

Brainstorm what the purpose of a picture is.

When you brainstorm, write down all your ideas as they come to you. Do not analyze them. This is not the time for that because you want to think up the most original, creative idea you can. The more ideas you have, the more unusual your ideas become. Eventually, you run out of ideas. Don’t stop. Push yourself to think of at least five more ideas because at this point unique ideas originate.

How can a picture tell a story? Look at a wordless picture book.

What elements does a picture need in order to tell a story? Here are some to get started.

-Background: color use, frame or no frame, place, time

-Perspective: point of view of the character, is the character at the forefront or the back of the

-Personality: clothing, facial expression (eyes, tilt of head, mouth, ears), what is the character doing, age

What are some other elements that help tell the story of a picture?