>>A creativity test can be given to students at the beginning of every
school >>year to measure creativity and spark an interest in art. Teachers can >>explain to students the creative techniques of ping-pong, hitch-hiking, >>modifying, and combining. >: >> >>Educators are always looking for ways to incorporate creativity into the >>school curriculum. But a creativity test? Just how does one take-or for >>that matter, how would a teacher grade-a "creativity test"? >> >>Youngsters taking this test will find it to be not only a fun, creative >>activity, but an important learning experience as well. Students in my >>classes have taken the test for eight years now and I can definitely say >>that this project, more than any other, adds a definitive flavor of >challenging >>excitement as to how students approach projects in my classroom from that >>point on. I refer to the concepts learned through taking the test for the >>rest of the school year. >> >>A NEW WAY OF THINKING >> >>The test is easy to give (see examples that I have designed: I alternate >>Versions One and Two every year). Just run off copies of the test on the >>school copier. >> >>The assignment is to turn the shapes on the paper into something -trying >>to fill all nine boxes with ideas. >> >>Allow one class period for students to fill in the boxes. Students should >>work in pencil so errors may be erased and changes made if desired.
Colored >>pencils or markers may be used if time allows. Have students write their >>names on the back-not the front-of the test. If students talk and discuss >>their tests a bit that's OK, that's a part of the plan too. >> >>Begin day two by writing this "silly sentence" on the chalkboard: I was >>playing in -Dong and I hitch-hiked home to modi r my combine. >> >>This phrase, along with the creativity test, is about to help introduce >>students to a whole new wav of thinking. >> >>Explain that the underlined words in the sentence are actually creativity >>techniques which the students will shortly be putting to use. The word >>"pingpong" refers to the creativity technique of throwing ideas back and >>forth. Students who were discussing ideas during the test were already >>doing this. Unfortunately, as any business executive can tell you,
creative >>ideas often begin-and end-at the talking stage. >> >>"Hitch-hiking" means picking up on one another's ideas. Copying others' >>ideas at school is often considered stealing or cheating. At first, the >>suggestion of copying at school seems a foreign and shocking notion to >>students-shades of unfairness. The idea is not to copy others' ideas >exactly, >>that's plagiarism. The point is to take the idea and build on it, making >>it better. >> >>An example of using another person's ideas is when architects study other >>buildings of the desired style before making a plan of their own. In this >>way the architects can be sure they have not inadvertently copied an "old, >>worn" idea, and can be sure that their idea has actually been arranged >>with new variations and interpretations. Whether a source is a first-hand >>observation or secondhand from a book, "hitch-hiking" can be likened to >>research, and it is an essential component to ensuring that a truly >creative >>idea measures up. >> >>Students can associate the third word, "modify," with a modified car >engine, >>like at a racetrack. "Modify" means change, change for the purpose of >improvement. >>To make that point perfectly clear means that the students are going to >>have to retake the test. Yes, actually retake the exact same test on a >>new piece of paper! >> >>You see, one of the most important steps in taking this creativity test >>is that the students find that the first test was only a rough draft. >Retaking >>the test reinforces, in a way that words could never do, the concept that >>real creativity calls for more effort than quitting on the first attempt >>and pronouncing the product "good enough." >> >>The fourth and final creativity step is to "combine." Students discard >>solutions they find to be unworkable or unsatisfactory for any reason, >>then use the better possibilities to come up with a final solution. >> >>Students now gather around in a group and lay out their "tests" from the >>previous day, finished or not, for all to see. Remember: student's names >>are on the back so that no one gets embarrassed. As students observe their >>tests they should keep in mind the creativity concepts in the "silly >sentence" >>in order to do better >> >>w h e n they retake the test. >> >>MEASURING CREATIVITY >> >>The teacherled critique will consist of comments on the tests, focusing >>on the four ways of measuring creativity: fl Zu e n cy, flexibility, >originality, >>and elaborating. (I use the acronym "F.FRO.E." to remember the four terms >>as I talk.) >> >>Many Gifted and Talented teachers nationwide use a drawing test designed >>by Dr. Frank WIlliams as a part of their >> >>testing regimen for student eligibility into the gifted program. In Dr. >>Williams' test, titled Exercise in Divergent Thinking (published in 1986), >>students turn abstract lines and forms into objects and label each drawing >>with a title. The evaluator then "grades" the tests, with the points >awarded >>according to the four principles of creativity. >> >>"Fluency" refers to the number of ideas. Did the student fill in all nine >>boxes on the creativity test? "Flexibility" means to approach ideas from >>a variety of viewpoints, thinking in different ways. For example, it is >>a revelation to many students that they could have drawn their pictures >>upside down or sideways. Their drawing can be inside or outside the given >>shape. The object can be living or non-living, the picture can even be >>abstract in pattern and design. "Flexibility" is brainstorming at its best >>and anything goes. >> >>"Originality" is uniqueness. Instead of turning a triangle shape into a >>pine tree, or a 'T' shape into a telephone pole, students should try to >>think of a less obvious choice. The idea doesn't have to be a >once-in-the-world, >>brandnew invention, being merely statistically unique is just fine. >> >>One of the best approaches to originality is to "break the rules" in a >>constructive way. Instead of filling the boxes with nine individual ideas, >>let lines break out of the boxes. For the second test, encourage students >>to combine boxes or, for a real challenge, combine all nine boxes together >>to create one complete scene. >> >>"Elaboration" means to take an idea as far as it can go. For example, >adding >>a background and extra details to the picture. >> >>Students may now retake the test. This time, provide the class with
markers >>or colored pencils, and allow more than one class period for students to >>complete their test to the fullest. Stress neatness and bright colors, >>until only a touch of white paper remains before students hand in their >>tests. >> >>Experiencing these creativity techniques, and learning to understand, >recognize, >>and measure creativity, helps students and teachers clarify and demystify >>this process we call creativity. >> >>Ping-ponging ideas back and forth, hitch-hiking onto one another's ideas, >>having the courage and initiative to make the effort to modify ideas for >>the purpose of improvement, and combining ideas to form the best solution >>all furnish a means to solve problems in creative and original ways. >> > > >