Everyone is born with the ability to think critically and creatively. However, as teachers we often see both creativity and critical thinking skills stifled in preference for more “academic” pursuits. But the truth is, in today’s world and workforce, the skills of creativity and thinking “outside the box” are highly valued and sought after. Companies depend on innovation to be competitive and stay relevant in an ever-changing world.
As teachers it is our job to not just teach our subject area, but to make sure we teach and educate the whole child. Sometimes it just seems impossible to do everything, we have so many pressures on us to make sure we cover huge amounts of content, deliver interesting lessons and make sure we keep up with whatever the latest research tells us to do. It can be difficult to stay ahead of it all without going crazy. But teaching should also be fun and enjoyable for not only us, but for our students.
So how can we introduce creativity and critical thinking skills into our classrooms, without having to do huge amounts of prep and training? Simple, try adding Spark Ideas Cards into your teaching toolkit. This simple idea and strategy will work with any class, subject area and age group – even with staff!
Each set of 64 flash cards are designed to promote ideas, innovation, creativity and critical thinking through the triggering and sparking of ideas. They are a simple creative thinking resource that will stimulate discussion and communication skills.
This critical and creative thinking activity can be done as a whole group or in smaller groups, how you choose to do it will depend on the group and the challenge.
Instructions for use:
- Print, cut and laminate the cards for durability
- Start with a challenge or problem and display it for all to see
- Shuffle the cards
- Select a single OR up to 5 cards from the deck
- Using the cards selected, brainstorm and record every idea for between 10 and 20 minutes. This can be done as an individual or as a small group
- Record every idea
- Discuss ideas
- Decide on which ideas to use
- Discuss how to complete the challenge or find a solution to the problem
There are many benefits for using this simple strategy. Some of the skills this lesson activity promotes include:
- communication through discussion of ideas
- problem solving through thinking about challenges from different angles
- imagination though not stopping or blocking any idea
- creativity through the generation of ideas triggered by the Spark Ideas Cards
- critical thinking the connecting of thoughts generated by the Spark Ideas Cards
- scientific thinking through looking at connections beyond the obvious
- logical thinking through processing thoughts and ideas and deciphering what can be developed
- interpreting information through linking ideas generated by everyone
- originality through creating new and innovative solutions to challenges
- visualizing through looking at things from different angles
- processing through the information created
- flexibility through listening to different ideas and opinions
- fluency through quick thinking and processing
- playfulness through believing every idea has merit
- resilience through listening and working through a challenge from beginning to the end
If you would like to grab your own set of Spark Ideas Cards, check them out by clicking the link below.
Until next time
Julia from Jooya