Activity Pack 1: Imagine Activity for Grades 6-8 Thomas Edison once said, “To have a great idea is to have a lot of them.” Brainstorming is a key part of this stage in the creative process. In fact, brainstorming remains one of the most effective creative thinking techniques in use today. The primary cornerstone to brainstorming is the absence of judgment or criticism. All ideas, no matter how non-traditional, have the right to exist at this stage. This is particularly valuable for those students who lack the confidence to publicly share their ideas. A comfortable, collaborative environment can help to inspire students during the “imagine” phase. Invite students to sit on beanbag chairs instead of at desks, in groups instead of by themselves, outdoors rather than inside the school, or listening to music instead of working in silence. This year’s Doodle 4 Google competition theme is: If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place. We can think of no greater purpose for students to show their creativity than to make the world better for others. It all starts with a little imagination! Graffiti Inspiration In this activity, students come up with 101 ideas for improving their schools and use their imaginations and the graffiti carousel brainstorming technique to generate creative ideas for how to make the world a better place. Strategy: This activity uses graffiti carousel brainstorming, a technique used to help generate creative ideas while stimulating physical movement. Large sheets of butcher paper are hung on walls, each with a different prompt or question. Student groups, using colored markers, move from paper to paper in quick, timed bursts and respond to the prompt in words or pictures. When time is up, each group moves to a new paper and the process continues for several rounds. This allows students to generate as many answers as possible and to build on one another’s ideas. When you feel there is no more value to gain, stop the exercise. All ideas are welcomed. Groups typically review all sheets and discuss what they have written or learned. Graffiti carousel brainstorming ensures that all students have a chance to participate and often eliminates the nervousness students have when asked to share ideas verbally. It also teaches students that it’s okay to build on the ideas of others. It’s important that students are encouraged to come up with as many ideas as possible, no matter how silly or unlikely they seem. You will want to make sure students support all answers with no judgments. You Will Need: ● A piece of clothing or other product with Velcro® ● Large sheets of butcher paper ● Tape ● Stopwatch or other timing device ● Colored Markers

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Computers or tablets Access to the Internet

1. Write the numbers 1-101 on the board or electronic whiteboard. Tell students that you just gota note from the principal who has asked for 101 ideas for making the school a better place. There are no rules. There are no limitations. There is no budget. And s/he would like your class to come up with the ideas. The only catch is that they only have five minutes to name all 101 ways or none of them will be considered. Ask students if they think they are up to the challenge. 2. Set the timer for five minutes. Say “go!” Encourage students to yell out answers, and list or have student volunteers list them as quickly as you can. Remind students as they are offering answers that there are no rules, limitations, or budgets. Encourage students to be creative in their answers. 3. After five minutes, stop and evaluate the exercise. Did they reach 101? If so, how easy or hard was it, and why? If not, why not? Which ideas, if any, seem the most creative or unique? Challenge students to circle the ideas where they feel they used their imaginations. 4. Explain that our imagination is what allows us to create things that may not already exist or new uses for existing objects. Tell students that most of the things that they use every day came from someone’s imagination. If no one had imagined them, they would not exist. 5. Hold up the piece of clothing or other product with Velcro®. Ask students if they know what Velcro is or how it helps people. Explain that Velcro® came from the imagination of a man named George de Mestral. One summer day in 1948, he took his dog for a walk. His dog returned home covered with burrs, the plant seed-sacs that cling to animal fur in order to travel to fertile new planting grounds. These burrs are very difficult to remove. He removed one and looked at it under a microscope. He saw all the small hooks that enabled the burr to cling so closely to his dog’s hair and to the fabric of his pants. He couldn’t believe how well the burrs stuck. He imagined a two-sided fastener, one side with stiff hooks like the burrs and the other side with soft loops like the fabric of his pants. His creative idea turned into an invention called Velcro®. 6. Write the question for this year’s Doodle 4 Google competition on a chalkboard, electronic whiteboard or flip chart: This year’s Doodle 4 Google competition theme is: If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place, what would it be? You may want to explain the competition to students at this time. Information and previous entries can be viewed at www.google.com/doodle4google. 7. Explain that creative thinking can often come from collaborating with others through brainstorming. If students do now know what brainstorming is, explain that it is an exercise where participants try to come up with as many answers as they can to a question or prompt in

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a specific period of time, just like they did for the introductory exercise. The goal is to come up with lots of answers. Brainstorming is like stretching our brains! There are no bad answers! All answers are accepted during brainstorming, even ones that don’t seem likely or possible. 8. Further explain that sometimes brainstorming is when we shout out answers and write them on a list. To help them brainstorm ideas for the competition question, however, they will share answers through graffiti. Ask students if they know what graffiti is or if they have ever seen it. Share that graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed on a wall or other surface in a public place. People can get in trouble for doing graffiti, but in some cases when done in approved places it has turned into an art form. You can show students images of graffiti by going to www.googleimages.com and entering the search term “graffiti.” Note: Please be sure to review the search results first to find appropriate images. 9. Hang large sheets of butcher paper on the walls. On each sheet of butcher paper, write the following prompt: I wish I could fix these problems for ________________. Finish the prompt on each paper with a different category. Categories could include: animals, people, health, the environment, our community, the elderly, soldiers, technology, kids, etc. 10. Divide students into groups. Distribute a colored marker to each group. Invite each group to stand by one of the sheets of paper. 11. When you say “go,” instruct groups to come up with as many possible problems as they can that go with the category on their sheet. For example, a problem in the environ-ment could be that there is too much air pollution. A problem for animals could be that their habitat is shrinking due to climate change. A problem for the school could be that sometimes kids get bullied. Explain that they will have three rounds at each paper. Each round will last 60 seconds. Just like graffiti, they can write words or pictures that show the problems in each category. Invite students to continue rotating for at least three rounds, encouraging them to build answers from ones that other students wrote. Continue until it seems as if student have run out of ideas. 12. Once you have as many problems as the class can generate, ask students to consider all of their options and choose the one that they would most like to turn into a solution for the Doodle 4 Google competition. 13. Finally, ask each student to complete the competition prompt: This year’s Doodle 4 Google competition theme is: If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place, I would ______________________.

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Take It Digital! Students can brainstorm electronically with these creative apps! ●

Bubl: Bubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets students brainstorm online by creating mind maps. To view examples, learn how to use bubbl.us or simply start brainstorming, go to https://bubbl.us/.



Popplet: Used as a mind-map, Popplet helps students think and learn visually. Students can capture facts, thoughts, and images and learn to create relationships between them. For a tutorial on Popplet, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8N6lbC_VCk.



SyncSpace: SyncSpace is a collaborative whiteboard app available for tablets. Students can use SyncSpace to create drawings and documents on tablets. They can create using free-hand drawing tools, using typing tools, or a combination of the two tool sets. Drawings and documents can be sent to and synced with other users so that they can comment and edit.

Extension: We often hear it said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In addition to brainstorming, our ideas are often inspired by the creations of others. Encourage students to bring in several objects or images that spark their imagination. Have students present their objects or images and explain what inspires them. Students can then use these as springboards for the Create activity, Your Move, as well as other writing or drawing projects.

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Activity Pack 1: Imagine

Bubl: Bubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets students brainstorm ... tutorial on Popplet, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8N6lbC_VCk.

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