101 Activities For Teaching Creativity And Problem Solving

(Joyce) #1

Combinations 121

101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving.Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. http://www.pfeiffer.com

  • Ideas in a Box [25]

  • Parts Is Parts [30]

  • 666 [34]

  • Word Diamond [35]


  1. Prior to the session, distribute to all participants one copy each of the Bi-Wordal
    Handout and ask them to read it.

  2. Start the session by reviewing the handout and ask if there are any questions.

  3. Have each group state their problem challenge so that it involves a verb and an

  4. Tell the group members to select the verb and object, write them on a flip chart,
    and look up alternative meanings (synonyms) for each in a thesaurus.

  5. Have them write the other meanings in a column below the verb and subject.

  6. Instruct them to select one word from each column and use the combination to
    trigger ideas.

  7. Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-it®Notes and place them on flip charts
    for evaluation.

One positive feature of this technique is that it easily can provide new perspectives sim-
ply by substituting different words in the problem challenge statement.
Although we can experience mental blocks when trying to solve problems, the blocks
exist often only because of the words we have chosen to use. Thus, the difficulty is not
that we can’t think of creative ideas; it might be due more to how we state a problem.
This technique illustrates this point rather nicely.
To further demonstrate the important role of initial problem statements, you might
ask participants to trade their finished activities with each other or try to resolve the chal-
lenge of another group and see how the outcome might differ.
Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions:

  • What was most helpful about this exercise?

  • What was most challenging?

  • What can we apply?

  • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue?

  • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions?

  • What did you learn?

  • What will we be able to use from this exercise?

  • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting?

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