Filed under Creative Thinking Strategies

Discussing Like a Historian–Or a Scientist, or a Scholar

Discussing Like a Historian–Or a Scientist, or a Scholar

Last week I wrote about my hope that helping students see the variety of historical perspectives—and the conflicts that ensued—might allow them to more readily navigate today’s often-gridlocked perspectives on multiple issues. One source for doing so was the Stanford History Education Group’s website, Reading Like a Historian. In the February 2017 issue of Educational … Continue reading

Inventors Challenge!

Inventors Challenge!

It’s a new year and a new time for thinking creatively about our world. And just in time to get us started, the Imagination Foundation has teamed with AT&T Aspire to sponsor the 2017 Inventor’s Challenge. This is not a long term project, but a good way to get the new year off to a … Continue reading

Runway of Dreams, and Inspiration

Runway of Dreams, and Inspiration

If you were a parent whose child asked to wear jeans to school on “Jeans Day,” what would you say? No problem, right? What if that child had a disability that meant he could not put jeans on independently or use the bathroom while wearing jeans? What then? How do you tell a child he … Continue reading

Sparking Student Creativity

Sparking Student Creativity

If you are looking for a practical resource for adding some “sparks” of creativity to your curriculum planning, ASCD has a resource that may help. Patti Drapeau’s Sparking Student Creativity is subtitled “Practical Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving,” and it delivers on that promise. The book is organized around four “roads,” one … Continue reading

George Ferris’ Grand Idea

George Ferris’ Grand Idea

Did you know there was an actual Mr. Ferris behind the Ferris Wheel? I didn’t. Like so many inventions, the Ferris Wheel originated with a challenge. In 1890, as the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago was being designed, the builders had a problem. Just the year before, France had created the Eiffel Tower for their … Continue reading

I Love You More Than Moldy Ham. . .

I Love You More Than Moldy Ham. . .

You know I’ve been spending time with pre-adolescents when a book titled I Love You More than Moldy Ham sets me chortling in the bookstore aisle. The book, targeted at primary grade students, tells the story of a young monster who trudges through swampland to gather ingredients for a special dinner for his mom. It … Continue reading

Squeeze a Stress Ball for Divergent Thinking?

Squeeze a Stress Ball for Divergent Thinking?

Can squeezing a soft ball help you generate more ideas? How about a hard ball? What would you predict? Those are questions addressed by researcher JongHan Kim in a study titled, logically enough, “Physical Activity Benefits Creativity: Squeezing a Ball for Enhancing Creativity.” Studies in embodied cognition both fascinate and puzzle me. The assumption of … Continue reading

Students as Questioners: What Do Writers Ask?

Students as Questioners: What Do Writers Ask?

A few weeks ago I wrote a series of posts about students as questioners, ending with posts on questions in particular disciplines: What do historians ask? How about scientists? Mathematicians? Then, I’ll admit, I got stuck. In each of the previous subject areas I considered the types of questions professionals asked when engaged in creative … Continue reading