Tag Archives: flexible thinking

The Green Umbrella

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

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

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? 

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Jackie Azúa Kramer, visit:

https://www.jackieazuakramer.com

To learn more about illustrator Maral Sassouni, visit:

http://maralsassouni.com

Ed Emberley’s ABC

“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

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

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.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Ed Emberley, visit:

http://www.edemberley.com/pages/main.aspx

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design Your Pool

 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.

http://njcustomswimmingpools.com/projects/bedford-ny-glass-tile-design/

http://www.maleeqdecor.com

http://www.archiexpo.com/prod/hartwigsen/product-9996-324172.html

Think Deeper: What else can your pool be used for besides swimming?

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:

http://www.digsdigs.com/50-awesome-creative-chair-designs/

https://www.designswan.com/archives/10-ultra-cool-chairs-design.html

Creative Thinking Prompt: Installation Artist Chiharu Shiota

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

https://creators.vice.com/en_us/article/a-cloud-of-keys-and-memories-hangs-over-venice

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?

EXTENDED CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about Chiharu Shiota and her work, visit:

http://www.chiharu-shiota.com/en/

Infinity Lines  2017 at Savannah College of Art and Design

https://creators.vice.com/en_us/article/chiharu-shiota-spiderweb-red-thread-memories

Meow Monday

“Meow Monday

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

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

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.”

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Phyllis Root, visit:

http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/2006/03/author-feature-phyllis-root.html

To learn more about illustrator Helen Craig, visit:

http://sevenstoriescollection.blogspot.com/2014/03/helen-craigs-studio.html

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: Sugar Painting

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.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl5jwE_F5Ms

 To learn more about China’s sugar art, visit:

http://www.tour-beijing.com/china_travel_guide/culture/handicrafts/sugar_painting/

 Kids can paint with sugar, too.

http://kidscraftroom.com/winter-sugar-painting-kids/

 

 

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: 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.