Big Tools for Young Thinkers: Using Creative Problem Solving Tools with Primary Students
Children in the primary grades can learn and apply a wide variety of powerful thinking tools for generating options or for focusing their thinking. The tools presented in "Big Tools for Young Thinkers" have been successfully applied with both adults and children for more than four decades. Creative Problem Solving is a process that allows people to apply both creative and critical thinking to find solutions to everyday problems. It is a way to enhance creative behavior and also is a systemic way to organize information and ideas in order to solve problems. The overall goal of CPS training is to improve creative behavior and problem-solving behavior. "Big Tools for Young Thinkers" includes 18 lessons, with activities for introducing and practicing the tools with young children. There are two lessons on the basic guidelines for generating and focusing ideas, followed by two lessons for each of eight different tools (brainstorming, braindrawing, forced relationships, SCAMPER, hits, highlighting, ALoU, and the evaluation matrix). The two lessons for each tool are followed by guidelines for going beyond an introduction to the tool. These guidelines will help apply the tool to any problem-solving situation.
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The Balloons and the Brainstormy Day
The Squirrelly Brainstorm
The Amazing Braindrawing Machine
Drawing the Brainy Woodpecker
Stamping Out Forced Relationships
Squirrel Away the Hits
Use Your Noodle to Highlight
Highlighting the Best of Everyone
Matrix by the Sea
The Game of ALoU
Designing a Stuffed Animal ALoU
ALoU tool Amazing Machine anytime you want Ask students balloons basic outline braindrawing form braindrawing tool brainstorming tool chair chart paper checklist creative options i.e. Creative Problem Solving Debrief the learning deferring judgment Digging Deeper Discuss Enhancements evaluate options example of steps Explain Extension focusing tool called follow anytime follow when evaluating four rules frown face Going green light thinking guidelines highlighting hits ice cream cone include an example judge Key Point kinds of options large number LEGO lesson provides letter of SCAMPER lots of ideas Materials & Preparation minuses noodles number of ideas number of options outline to follow pet stickers piggybacking pluses Post-it Poster purpose Remind students Review focusing rules Review generating rules SCAMPER tool SCAMPER words selecting ideas shells short section small groups solve the problem steps to follow Stuffed Relationship Tool Lessons Lesson toys unusual ideas Warm Wild & Crazy woodpecker