Why explore creativity?

This topic links directly to the Fertile Questions in Central Studies:
- Sustainable Futures: How can we think globally, act locally for sustainability?
- Communication Systems: Are we the controllers or the controlled?
- Maths & Abstract Thinking: What is significant and how do we know?
All of these tasks require considerable creative and critical thinking. These tasks are due to be handed in during week Six. It would be a good idea to start on them now (or on some other pressing task). You could use this topic to help you.
Edward de Bono, who is a very famous researcher into thinking says that
The difference between brilliant and mediocre thinking lies not so much in our mental equipment
as in how well we use it. There are systems, techniques and thinking tools designed to help anyone
think more creatively. I invented the term ‘Lateral Thinking’ to indicate the deliberate and formal use of tools
that provoke changes in ideas, concepts and perceptions - based on an understanding of how the brain works
as a self-organising information system. Anyone can be creative - provided they learn and develop their skills.

How many different kinds of thinking are there?

You have probably heard of logical thinking and critical thinking. Have you also heard of lateral thinking, visual thinking and metaphorical thinking? These ways of thinking are all used in developing creativity.
  • Lateral thinking
  • Visual thinking
    • Thinking in pictures, using our visual imagination, is something we do very easily as small children but may forget to do later, which is a pity, because if we can 'see' all the elements of a problem, we may also be able to imagine various solutions. Here is some writing by an autistic scientistwho has a PhD in animal science about how she sees her world in pictures and how this helps her to create new solutions for industry.
    • Graphic Organisers are tools that help us to think visually. These include flow charts, story maps, vector diagrams, concept maps, timelines and fishbones.
  • Metaphorical thinking
    • Using images and metaphors in your thinking can be very useful for making connections. Metaphors can create strong images that can be used to add power to your communication. A metaphor makes a direct comparison between two ideas that are unrelated or indirectly linked. For example “time flies”, “I’m boiling”, "He's a pig" (but this is unkind to pigs?) or "I'm losing my mind".
    • Think for a moment about how you might use a metaphor to explain in a simple way how something complicated works. For example, a road map is not the real road, but is a model or metaphor of the reality of roads and is extremely useful for explaining how to get somewhere.
    • The key to metaphorical thinking is finding similarity. What is the sameabout two different ideas? The human mind likes to find similarities.
    • If you think only logically about a problem, this may stop the creative processes that could help you to solve the problem. Using metaphors is a way of thinking differently about something. Many inventors, and particularly artists and musicians, think in terms of images and metaphors. This helps them see where they want to go with a project. Imaging using a different sensory or conceptual frame can help, for example drawing pictures rather than writing down ideas, or associating colours, smells, actions or places with mathematical and scientific concepts that you need to understand and remember.
    • If you want to know more about this, there are many websites that deal with metaphorical thinking, like this one.

How can we find out about creativity?

Here are some questions to discuss or just think about on your own
  • How could you define creativity or give examples of it? What are some other words that fit with this concept?
  • How can understanding and seeking creativity be useful in science and to produce a sustainable future for our world?
  • Are there any tools or strategies that will help people learn how to be creative?
  • What is the most creative thing someone you know has done? What did this achieve for him/her and for others?
  • What is the most creative thing you have ever done? What did this achieve for you and for others?
  • What is something really creative you would like to do one day? What would this achieve for you and for others?
  • Who uses creativity? Does it cause them problems?
  • Do we value creativity? Always?
  • Are there different types of creativity?
  • Would you like to be more creative? Why or why not?
  • Can everyone be creative? Can people learn/get infected by creativity?
  • Are there such things as creativity tools that will help people be more creative?
  • Why is it important to try to be creative?
  • How can people be more creative? (10 ideas from the group)

What thinking tools will help us?

  • Can you use ‘thinkers keys tool’ to come up with some creative ideas?
  • How can you work on writers block?
  • Thinking outside the square is a technique --see what you come up with.
  • Everyone can be creative -- if you are ‘stuck’ without an idea, look for tools to help.
  • This tools and strategies page has absolutely heaps of ideas and processes to help you think about projects, test revision and group work.

What resources might help us explore this topic in more detail?

Why not try a class/group continuum exercise?

  • Agree or Disagree with these statements – move in class to “agree area” or “disagree area” on a continuum / line. Then look across the room and find someone who is different to you meet with them and take turns to explain your reasoning/ position.
  • People who are creative are often VERY DIFFERENT
  • Being creative is too much like hard work
  • Creative products have a lot of detail
  • Creative products can be simple
  • People who are creative love crafty things
  • Creative thinking can be learned

Why not explore...?

  • Your own creativity – website
  • Create some ideas – try out the thinkers keys sheet
  • Explain to the class - take 10 minutes to put together a summary of what all the students came up with – best idea

Hints for teachers for success with this task
  • Take care to encourage students to talk with each other about their ideas and to listen to other's ideas without judging their value.
  • Be sure to indicate the non threatening nature of the task – to encourage them to be a little out there in their thinking. That this is a tool students can use in other areas of their learning.

What are creative people doing?

For further investigation of a very creative person

: ptero/article.asp?id=9

Sky says:
Hey guys, here is a brilliant website
It is a pinboard-style website that allows things like photo sharing and lets users create and manage theme-based image collections. You can have many different boards. Users can browse other people’s pinboards for inspiration and then pin their own findings on their own board just with the click of a button! Think of it like bookmarking all of your favourite webpages/ new found webpages to one site.
Here is a sneak peek at mine (note you do have to have a username and password if you want your own board but otherwise you can scroll without signing up – signup is free):

Notice I have a board called ‘Classroom Ideas’. On this board I have found a number of websites via just surfing the web, or via the category in Pinterest called ‘Education’. In this category lie literally hundreds of educational-related pins created by other pinners just like myself. There are things like inspirational quotes, templates to get your students thinking, mindmapping resources, ideas to get kids physically active, healthy eating tips, ‘fun’ classroom ideas etc.


It is a social networking style of website, so therefor there will be fluff floating in the Education boards, but some ideas and websites pinned are fantastic and useful.
How to use Pinterest:
I would recommend signing up so you can create your own boards and pin away.
Choose a category you are interested in (there’s heaps). Scroll the category and read the comments at the bottom of the pictures, I guarantee something will take your fancy.
Click on a photo, it’ll take you to a page where the image is larger and gives you the opportunity to pin it to your own board, which you can do and you can change which boards of yours you pin it to. Eg. Pin it to your board called ‘Fun Stuff’ or ‘Educational resources’ or anything.
If you click on the picture, it’ll take you to the website the picture is actually from and you can find other great pin-able things.

How did I hear about Pinterest? In my year two pressional experience I noticed my mentor teacher was ridiculously creative so I asked her how she was so inspiring – she said “Pinterest”. I had no idea what she meant until I went home straight to google. It is definitely worth looking at.

Adam Broughton says:


15,000 resources stored on Scootle please watch the video on the link below for a demonstration!

If you’ve been to a doctor recently then maybe you’ve seen the website that only registered doctors can use that is their online resource.
Scootle is the teacher equivalent. Scootle contains all of the below listed items and aligns with the Australian curriculum.

Documents Scootle contains
Learning objectives
Teacher resource
Assessment resource

Some other tools available through the website
Use the improve feature to assist the learning outcomes of your students by personalising your own quizzes. Select from a large range of questions in English, mathematics and science that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum.

The ICT in everyday Learning: A Toolkit for Teachers illustrates how pedagogy, content and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. A series of activities in English, mathematics, science and history suggest practical approaches using the Australian Curriculum to integrate technology into the classroom.

Scootle is integrated with elements of the Australian Curriculum. You can browse curriculum content descriptions, find Australian Curriculum aligned resources and add content descriptions to your learning paths.

Alannah Creek Says....

Here is another site which can be a great source of inspiration!! It has many different articles online which help provide you with many ideas for being creative in the classroom!!

LitDrift Title.JPG
I picked out a few things from the site to provide examples of how it can help give you ideas for your lessons.

“Classic Literature In 60 Seconds”

In this initiative they ‘get writers, musicians, actors, and other creative types to summarize their favourite novels. In 60 seconds or less’.

Instead of getting students to write a summary of a book they have read, this idea of summarizing the novel in any form they can think of and then present it in 60 seconds (either in person or video form) is really creative!

Perhaps students could draw a graphic novel, do a skit, pretend to be Oprah promoting the book.

Little stories like this one on LitDrift can help get the creative juices flowing.

“Daily Prompt”

Each day the website puts up a new prompt for writing. This is an idea which can be worked into the classroom to make an idea like journal writing a bit more varied and interesting. You could put up a picture on the whiteboard, bring in an object and these things can serve as a writing prompt for 10 minutes of writing.

Daily Prompt Picture.JPGPrompts Instructions.JPG
"Explaining the Kindle To Charles Dickens"

Here is an example of how we can think of ways to give students creative prompts. How would you explain a modern concept to an old author, public figure, famous person? Learning how to articulate difficult things is really important.

Kindle Dickens.JPGBooks in Books.jpg