Creativity Lesson: Ambiguity and Ocean Currents

*This lesson coincides with chapter 8 (Avoid Ambiguity) from Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech.

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Lesson created by Justin Clark


Grade Level: 6 Science


Length of time to teach lesson: 8 Minutes

Overview of the Lesson:  This lesson could be used as a pre-assessment for students understanding of Ocean Currents. Providing a Paradox will begin the thought process and burst you students brain to think. Ocean currents move in a circular direction, have consistent patterns, always moving from Pole to equator, and carry energy during the whole paths (cold to warm and warm to cold). The students will be given a paradox starting the thinking as an introduction to “Ocean Currents” Chapter in the Unit of “Ocean, Atmosphere & Climate”.

Objective (Learning Target) of the lesson: Students will draw their ideas of ocean currents from a paradoxical statement. Examples: “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth” “A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.”

Resources needed for the lesson: Paper, Markers (Blue = cold, Red = warm & Brown = continents). Word Bank: N/S Poles, Equator, Cold & Warm Currents, Continent, Pattern & Circular Movement.  Rubric.

Teaching Instructions for this lesson:


Paradox: “Are there cold ocean currents near warm areas?”
● Use your markers to draw how currents move around the Earth.
● Use the word bank to generate your ideas.
● What does the paradox mean to your table group?
         ○ Hand out 4-5 paradoxes for the groups to figure out what they mean.
         ○ Have students have group leaders (Speaker, Leader, Questioner, Clarifier, etc)
         ○ Table discussion of Paradox 5 Minutes.
         ○ Present to group.
● Handout the Science Paradox
         ○ Students discussion & brainstorm your drawing.

Assessment:  Use the rubric to give students feedback on the following questions:
● Did the student use all the words from the “Word Bank”
● Did the students show cold and warm currents?
● Did the students show circular motions/currents?
● Label North and South Pole, and Equator?
● Did the student show continents?
● Did they label where the cold currents pass by warm areas?

Meta-cognition:
● Before they get their critique and after student is finished with their thinking and drawing, show them a video about the “Great Garbage Patch” in the Oceans.
● Students make edits to their diagrams.
● Ask them what they added and why.
● Use a rubric to assess their prior knowledge of their thinking about Ocean Currents.

Additional directions for the students:
● Create a circular pattern in the oceans.
● Draw and Earth with North Pole and South Pole with the Equator.
● High Energy (Warm Area) & Low Energy (Cold Area).

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