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Creative Thinking Activities Shakerag Elementary TAG
SCAMS The purpose of this exercise is to build your fluency of thought and expression. At first, you might find that you can think of only a few sentences but, if you persist, many more will occur to you.Directions: Write five-word sentences from the five given letters, one letter for each word.S C A M S. Here are a couple of examples: • Senior citizens arrange maximum security. • Sarcastic comments are meant seriously. • Now see how many sentences you can produce in exactly five minutes.
A Woman’s Ingenuity With some problems, a creative solution can only occur after the elements or parts of the problem have been reorganized into a different pattern. This requires that you juggle the parts in your mind's eye. With this in mind, see if you can solve this problem: • A businessman brought back from Europe four pieces of chain in solid gold, each consisting of three links. He wanted to keep them as an investment, but his wife felt that—joined together—the pieces would make a lovely necklace. She went to a jeweler and said, "I want you to connect these pieces to make a necklace. How much will it cost?" The jeweler laid the individual pieces of chain out in this pattern: • He told the lady, "I charge $2.50 to break a link and $2.50 to melt it together again. Since you have four corners, it will cost you $20." The lady said, "That's too much. Actually you can do it for $15." The problem, then, is to construct a necklace, breaking and joining only three links. How would you do it?
Breaking Out Most of us impose too many imaginary boundaries, restrictions, and constraints upon our problems, and hence fail to solve them. • The problem: Draw four straight lines through the nine dots without retracing and without lifting your pen from the paper.
Kindred Relationships There have been many efforts to define or explain the creative process. Psychologist Sarnoff A. Mednick of the University of Michigan thinks of it as the forming of associative elements into new combinations or arrangements. That may not be the whole story, but the person who can marshal a great number of associations and ideas and bring them to bear on his problem has the best chance of coming up with an original solution. • In this exercise, think of a fifth word that is related to the preceding four words. (Compound and hyphenated words or commonly used expressions are allowed.) Examples: • Elephant, bleed, lie, washAnswer: White (white elephant, bleed white, white lie, white-wash) • Sleeping, contest, spot, shopAnswer: Beauty (sleeping beauty, beauty contest, beauty spot, beauty shop) Now train your own associative powers with the following list 1. bug rest fellow cover ____________________ 2. cross baby blood ribbon ____________________ 3. see carpet hot cent ____________________ 4. touch palate soap sell ____________________ 5. easy hush belt order ____________________ 6. tree cup cake forbidden ____________________ 7. wagon stand aid dance ____________________ 8. dust movie gaze sapphire ____________________ 9. tooth talk potato bitter ____________________ 10. alley date snow spot ____________________
More Than Meets the Eye One of the most useful of all thinking modes in creative problem solving is visual thinking. It is especially effective in solving problems where shapes, forms, or patterns are concerned. To improve your powers of visualization, concentrate on the accompanying illustration. The question usually asked in connection with this design is whether you see either the vase or the two human profiles. A mentally flexible person will see both. For purposes of this mental exercise, however, try to see as many additional items in the picture as you can. Look at it from many different points of view and from as many angles as you wish. Then check the list below. Some of the items may seem far—fetched. But, remember, the idea is to use your imagination freely.
The Collected Works We are frequently hampered in creative problem solving by our habitual ways of looking at things. The more familiar a situation or an object is, the harder it is to see it differently. Creativity, however, requires a "fresh" pair of eyes.While this problem looks deceptively simple, it is actually quite difficult. There are four volumes of Shakespeare's collected works on the shelf. • The pages of each volume are exactly 2 in. thick. The covers are each 1/6 in. thick. A bookworm started eating at page 1 of Volume I and ate through to the last page of Volume IV. What is the distance the bookworm covered?
Concealed Colors This game is designed to increase your flexibility and your ability to overcome the restrictions of habit. The name of what color is concealed in each sentence? • Newspaper editors decided to go on strike. (Red) • The cab lacked proper brakes to stop at the intersection. (Black) Now try these: • A big, old, hungry dog appeared at our door every morning. • The cop persuaded him not to create a disturbance. • The Brazilian student Paulo lives around the corner from us. • You shouldn't let an upstart like him bother you. • He let out a big yell, owing to the injuries he received when he fell. • La Jolla venders decided to cut their prices in half. • Long rayon fabrics were loaded on the truck. • The Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli lacked the requisite documents to enter the U.S. • You shouldn't sell this fossil very cheaply because it is a rare specimen. • The new law hit everybody's pocketbook pretty hard.
More or Less We frequently fail to solve problems because we approach them with prejudgments or unwarranted assumptions. These assumptions restrict our thinking processes and hamper our imaginations.When doing this problem, try to defer any prejudgments that pop into your mind and try to deliberately change your point of view: Add one line to the roman numeral XI, and end up with the number ten. Try for at least three different solutions.