Creative Thinking, K-12, Student Products

Me — The User Manual, 2022 Edition

I’m starting a Wakelet collection of ideas for beginning the school year (stay tuned for that to be shared next week!) and one of my favorites is this activity, “Me — The User Manual, that I did way back in 2017. It was originally inspired by a tweet from Adam Grant, famous author of many books including one that I highly recommend for teachers, Think Again. In the tweet, Grant referred to an article by Abby Falik where she described writing her own “user manual” that she wrote as a leader. You can read more about it in my original post.

Back then, I created my own User Manual, and suggested it as something teachers could do to share with their students and/or colleagues. I also think it would be a unique activity to have your students do when the school year starts as you are trying to get to know each other and develop relationships.

I’ve updated my own User Manual, and I’ve created a link to the template in Canva so you can use it if you wish with your students. Of course, deviating from the template is highly encouraged as employing your own creativity to this product is a large part of its power. As you can see from my graphic, I highly value creativity!

You can adapt this idea to any age and digital creativity tool, even drawing it by hand if you prefer. The purpose is to build community in a safe way while encouraging creativity. Your students will appreciate getting to know you better, and this can be your first signal to them that you truly care about each individual in your classroom.

Click here to access this template in Canva.

3-12, Games, Student Response, Teaching Tools


I’m hesitating to recommend any more games because it was recently brought to my attention that a card game I reviewed in January now costs $899 on Amazon.  I know I don’t have a degree in Economics, but I only paid $20 for it 6 months ago, and unless this game is somehow disguising a Bitcoin laundering scheme, I’m not sure why it climbed in price by 4500%.

The game in question, Mockups, is good for practicing Design Thinking.  If that is what you are looking for, you may want to go a less pricier route by checking out Disruptus, also good for Design Thinking practice – and about $874 less than Mockups at the moment.

Or, you could download Dialogo for free.  It’s not really a Design Thinking game, but at least you don’t have to pawn your motorcycle to acquire it.

I’m really working on community building with my classes this year, so when I saw this brief write-up about Dialogo on Trendhunter, I immediately searched for the website to learn more.

Dialogo is a product from the KAICIID Center.  According to its website, the organization “is an intergovernmental organization whose mandate is to promote the use of dialogue globally to prevent and resolve conflict to enhance understanding and cooperation.”  The free download is available in 5 different languages, and includes a printable gameboard, instructions, and cards.

Dialogo is meant to be used for encouraging discussion of a particular topic.  The game offers creative, probing questions that can be used for just about any subject. There are also suggestions for reflecting on and facilitating the conversation.  Though the age suggestion is for 10 and up, I think it could be used with younger students with a bit of practice.

So, download Dialogo now, whether you think you can use it or not, before it gets listed for $1000 or something ridiculous.  Good group conversations are priceless – and should stay that way.