Category Archives: Creative Thinking

Easter Creative Thinking Packet

photo credit: Bibi via photopin cc

I have added an Easter Creative Thinking Packet to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  It is now available for $1.00.  It includes brainstorming ideas, as well as printable worksheets for each of the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. creative thinking tools created by Bob Eberle.  My gifted students in 1st-5th enjoy these S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packets, as the activities give them the chance to stretch their imaginations.  We are in the home stretch right now for the school year, and thinking outside the Easter basket could lessen some of the stress!

Puppet Pals

Puppet Pals is an iDevice app that allows students to make puppet show videos.  The free version offers a limited number of characters and backdrops, but can still be fun.  For more options, you can pay $2.99 for the Director’s Pass, which you gives many more themes and backgrounds, including Talk Shows and Politics.  Once the videos are completed, they can be e-mailed (if short enough), uploaded to YouTube, played on your big screen if you don’t have the original iPad (but do have a connector), or saved to DropBox.  Be open to “workarounds” if your school district blocks YouTube and/or DropBox.

Below, I have embedded a video created by my 3rd grade Gifted and Talented students.  Their assignment was to create a video that explained the use of P.M.I. (Plus, Minus, Interesting), a CoRT thinking skill developed by Edward de Bono.  First, knowing the characters they would be using, they planned their show on a blank storyboard, then had to explain it to another group, revise it based on the other group’s suggestions, and get it approved by me.  Finally, they could record their video.  All groups were very engaged during this assignment.

The video shows President Obama trying to decide if there should be year-round schools.  No irony was intended by the students when they chose former President George W. Bush to be the one who gave President Obama advice on how to make this decision 😉

Tap Into the World of Comics

Tap Into the World of Comics is a Slideshare presentation by S. Hendy.  It not only gives examples of sites for creating comics, along with their links, but also offers 26 suggestions for ways to integrate comics with the curriculum.  Presented in the form of a comic, the slide show is visually interesting as well as a creative and valuable resource for educators.

Our Wish for the World

“Our Wish for the World” is a creative art idea using the iPad app WordFoto.  Tricia Fuglestad posted about this lesson for third graders on the Pop Art of Robert Indiana.  Her post includes more pictures and links to an Artsonia gallery of images and a handout.   WordFoto is one of my favorite apps for creating, along with TypeDrawing.  Ms. Fuglestad’s lesson could easily be differentiated for different levels; for example using the same idea along with Six-Word Memoirs for older or more advanced students, or having younger students use Word Wall words.

Academy of Achievement

The Academy of Achievement aims to “to bring aspiring young people together with real-life heroes.”  One way they are accomplishing this is by posting audio and video of interviews with leaders in different fields.  The videos include such eminent people as Steve Jobs and Maya Angelou, and many more.  In addition to the videos, the Academy of Achievement has curriculum resources for teachers.  Most of those resources are for grades 7-12, but there are a few, such as The Olympic curriculum, for as low as 4th grade as well.
On the “Keys to Success” page, the featured individuals are grouped by character traits such as “Passion” and “Vision.”  A fun tool for students is located on the “My Role Model” page, where you can find role models who are featured on the site based on some of your own individual traits.
Because some of the materials are designed for older students, I would advise that teachers preview all videos and materials before using them with their classes.

History for Music Lovers

 

The History for Music Lovers channel on YouTube has a lot of videos of historical figures and moments set to popular songs.  The one I use with my students is “Gutenberg“, the lyrics of which are sung to the tune of “Sunday Girl” by Blondie.  For those students who don’t really care to read history from a book and are musically inclined, this is a great way to get their attention.  (As usual, before presenting videos to students, please preview them to make sure they are appropriate for that age group!)  This is also a great idea for students who are interested in finding another way to present their own research.  It beats a PowerPoint presentation!

Interactive Bulletin Board Update

When I wrote about the Interactive Bulletin Board my class posted in our hallway utilizing artwork, poetry, and QR codes, I promised an update on the results.  The final article, with a few more details, appeared as a guest post on Free Technology for Teachers, hosted by Richard Byrne.  You can check it out by clicking this link.  Richard Byrne’s blog is one of my favorite resources, so I am really excited that he allowed me to share this idea with a wider audience.  Thanks, Mr. Byrne!