Creativity Lesson: Positive Thinking

Suggested Books (paid link)

*This lesson coincides with Chapter  10, I’m not creative , from A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech.

Lesson written by: Jeremy Smith and Tara Shek

Grade level range: K-12

Length of time to teach lesson: 8-10 minutes

Overview of lesson:  Students will enhance a gingerbread house by drawing additional features. Students will be given a gingerbread house template. Students will use a spinner to be given a feature to add. Students will repeat this a minimum of 6 times or for a pre-specified length of time.

Objectives (learning targets) of this lesson:  NAGC 1.2. Self-Understanding. Students with gifts and talents possess a developmentally appropriate understanding of how they learn and grow; they recognize the influences of their beliefs, traditions, and values on their learning and behavior.

The student will discover that actions and thoughts are influentially linked.

To change an outcome (ex. creativity level), one must first change their thoughts / thinking process.

Supplies: Spinner handout with jobs/descriptionshouse template,  spinner or paper clip, coloring medium (colored pencils, markers, crayons, etc.)

Step-by-step teaching instructions:  Discuss positive thinking. If you encounter a barrier in progressing on your home, use positive thinking so that you can be resourceful in finding a solution. “If you expect the battle to be insurmountable, you've met the enemy.  It's you.” ― Khang Kijarro Nguyen

Use the spinner to make improvements to your house.

To do this:

-      place a paperclip in the middle of the circle

-      use a pencil to secure the paperclip in place as you flick the paperclip

-      read the directions on the space you land on

-      draw this dimension to your house

-      color at least one portion of the picture based on the wedge color

Repeat this for a minimum of 6 spins or a pre-specified amount of time.

Discuss how self-fulfilling prophecies can create positive or negative impacts on your product and the creative thinking process.


For English:  Write a story about an incident in/with the house.  Follow up with a writing assignment on how their thinking process changed as they spun additional elements to add.

For Social studies:  Adapt to focus on a specific time frame or cultures.

For Math:  Focus on different geometrical shapes, probability area, dimensions, quantities.

For Science: Focus on a specific environment or process.

Assessment:  This rubric is provided to either assist students during the creativity process or can be used after the fact to give feedback.

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