Saturday, November 4, 2017

New Uses for a Crown

One of my favorite creativity exercises comes from S.C.A.M.P.E.R. It's called New Uses for Everyday Things. I introduce this in the beginning of the year with a pencil. What do we use a pencil for? The students answer to draw, to write, to erase. Yes, but what else could we use the pencil for? To draw, to write, to erase. They can't get outside of that traditional use box. So I use it to put my hair in a bun, I show them how you could use it to open a can of soda. Then throughout the year maybe twice a month I give them an different object to think about a new use for. This time of year I can really see that most of them can now think outside of that box a little bit. We were doing a fairy tale unit so we wrote new uses for a crown.

Here's what they came up with (now I left in the ideas where they said crown-related ideas or the ones like a ball that really didn't make sense- because I want you to see that some students are still working on this skill):

to open my Cheerios

as a spork

Now quite often a colleague will say that they tried this activity with their kids and it didn't work-they just weren't creative at all. Don't give up! If you include this activity in your curriculum a couple times a month-they will get better at it. You just have to be persistent and patient.

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