It’s Not A Box – Synectics

[Read part 2 HERE]

My university recently hosted the ICE (Imagination / Creativity / Education) Conference. Instead of giving a presentation and being all concerned with that – decided to join many of my student teachers and enjoy a day of attending the workshops and gathering ideas. So glad I did!

The highlight for me was an Art workshop: Exploring Your Creative Process Through Reflection, Dialogue and Art Making. Basically, we explored the concept of Synectics. We used the book, “Not A Box” (see video below) as “a trigger” to get us risk taking and creating. Something language teachers can do too. I k!now Ken Robinson has made creativity a bigger issue in education (video) but are we doing enough? This lesson really engenders and promotes creativity!

Basically, after reading the book together, we were put into groups and each group given a box. Each group had a box that was of differing sizes, some huge, some tiny. Then, we were asked to say, “This is not a box but this is a …….”. Then, redesign our creation and talk about what principles of Synectics we used while creating.

[Download the lesson plan pdf and worksheets Also see It’s not a stick ]

Synectics is a way of promoting creativity in any kind of class, not just art. Take a look at this wordle and think about how you could use these principles of Synectic design, to “redesign” your own lesson, activity, curriculum into something more creative and “thoughful”.

My group’s creation

Not a box. It’s a fridge!

Not like the others is a game I made that does the same. Also, this activity is much the same. Basically, we ask our students to think “outside the box”. Try it – you’ll really have a fun, engaging lesson!

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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