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*This lesson coincides with The Creative Problem Solving Process chapter from Creative Problem Solving in the Classroom by McIntosh and Meachum.
Lesson written by: Becci Waltz and Kayli Sprague
Grade level range: 1-5, adaptable to all
Length of time to teach lesson: 8-20 minutes
Overview of lesson: This lesson allows students to focus on the idea finding stage of the CPS process. The first three steps are given, which if worked through would culminate in a problem question. The given problem is In what ways might we teach our students to be creative? Students will brainstorm many ideas that address this question, and then rank, group, and label them.
Objectives (Learning targets) of this lesson: Students will be able to brainstorm many ideas about a topic. Students will be able to rank and sort ideas about a topic.
Resources/supplies/handouts needed to teach this lesson: Post-It notes, Pens, pencils, and/or markers, Poster paper, Handout summarizing the steps in the CPS process, rubric
Step-by-step teaching instructions for the lesson: Adapted for the length of our 8 minute lesson, “students” will be given the mess, data, and problem statement. The focus for this lesson is on the Idea Finding step—first divergent brainstorming, then convergent.
1) Students will look at the chapter on Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Process. The first three steps will be briefly summarized.
2) Students are given the mess, data, and problem statement. The mess is assessing gifted students; The data would include our GATE resources, individuals’ feelings/emotions about assessing gifted students, and what individuals would like to know.
3) Students will work on idea finding for the problem statement of: In what ways might we teach our students to be creative?
4) Teams begin the idea-finding process by brainstorming as many ideas as they can by discussing and writing each idea on its own Post-It note. All Post-Its go on the poster paper.
5) Group puts a check mark by all ideas that they think are most important. Post-Its without hits are taken off the poster.
6) Group Post-Its together that are related.
7) Teams create a summary title (or nonlinguistic representation for primary grades) for each grouping of Post-Its. The idea is not to find one best idea, but several good ideas.
8) Using the CPS chapter, students will be informed what the next steps would be: Solution-finding: Evaluate ideas based on cost, time, feasibility, acceptability, and usefulness. Acceptance-finding: Developing a plan of action that takes into account things that can help you and things that you’ll have to overcome.
Assessment: We recommend using the rubric in the following ways:
- To be used by the teacher as he/she observes individual students participating in this lesson.
- To be used by the teacher as he/she observes a whole group participating in this lesson.
- To be used by individual students to self-rate their participation during and after the lesson. As each step is accomplished, students should reflect and evaluate their contributions.
- To be used by a group of students to self-rate their participation during and after the lesson. As each step is accomplished, students should reflect and evaluate their contributions.
- To first be completed by individual students and/or a group of students, and then completed by the teacher so that students can compare their own perceived performance with the teacher’s observations.
Special Notes from the creator of this lesson:
This lesson zeros in on one step in the process. It could be drawn out to allow each team to work through all the steps on a given content area mess.