101 Activities For Teaching Creativity And Problem Solving

(Joyce) #1

Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 111

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

20. Text Tickler

Many people like to read for entertainment or to learn something new. For some people,
there’s nothing like curling up with a good novel. Reading helps tickle our gray matter,
whether the material is Shakespeare or a clothing catalog. The more we read, the more
stimulation we receive.
Sometimes, when we least expect it, a potential solution will pop out as we read. This
may happen through some subconscious association or because we occasionally ponder a
current problem while reading and something we read sparks an idea. Although such
ideas may frequently occur by chance, we can make idea generation more predictable.
That’s where the Text Tickler exercise can help.
Text Tickler involves randomly selecting words from different sources and then using
them to prompt ideas. It doesn’t matter where you get the words, as long as you have a
varied pool from which to choose.


  • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible

  • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas

Small groups of four to seven people each

Materials, Supplies, and Equipment

  • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart

  • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots
    (^1 ⁄ 2 ” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it®Notes.


  • Text Tickler Handout

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