Creativity Lesson: Stepping Stones

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*This lesson coincides with section 4, be practical, from A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech.

Lesson written by: Sara Choat

Grade level range: Depending on the topic, K-12

Length of time to teach lesson: 20-30  minutes

Objectives (Learning targets) of this lesson:  The student will practice the skills needed to cultivate the “imaginative seedbed” by playing the Creativity Stepping Stone Game.

Resources/supplies/handouts needed to teach this lesson:   A board game with dry ground on one side, a river to cross and a green garden on the other side.
Problem cards—copy several & write different problems (can be a social, political, safety concern, etc.. or a device that can be improved on each card.
Cultivation tool cards—copy several of each (write different people’s names on the shoes cards.) Copy on one color—don’t use different colors for the different tools.
Step-by-step teaching instructions for the activity/lesson:

1.  Explain/state the Learning Objective.  Explain the “imaginative seedbed” and the importance of cultivating it.

2.  Explain the cultivation tools:                           

              *  What if?

              *  Wearing someone else’s shoes?

              *  You are the problem!

3.  Tell the student that to cultivate his/her imaginative seedbed, he/she needs to get from the “dirt” to the garden of creativity by going across the river.  Every time he/she attempts to solve a problem by using one of the tool cards, he/she earns a stepping stone to cross the river.

4.  Warn students about the “tool use warnings” and how they can inhibit their ability to use the tools and cultivate creativity.

5.  After the student attempts to use the tools to solve the problem, have him/her place the cards together on the board game until the “stones” (or stacks of two cards) reach from the dirt side of the board to the garden side. 

Special Notes from the creator of this lesson:

Students could practice using the tools together as a class, so that they have a good grasp of them before playing.  Students can create problem cards that address global, local, school or personal problems that need solutions.  After a student plays, he or she may be inspired to delve deeper into solving a particular problem that interested him/her.   He/she may also want to try using all of the tools on just one problem to go deeper.


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