Teacher Diaries: Ms. Esme – Creativity

Let’s get a piece of paper and draw 30 circles on it. Try adapting as many circles as possible into any objects (i.e. one of the circles can be a plate.) in three minutes. Remember – the goal is quantity but not quality.

Time’s up! How many objects can you come up with? 10? 20?

This is a creativity exercise called the 30 Circles Test developed by a famous researcher Bob McKim. While some of you may be happy as you can get almost all the circles filled, have you ever thought of using the space outside the circles or even combining two or more circles to make an object or a picture?

These circles are like limits in our lives, they are the boundaries we set for ourselves, the expectations others impose on us, and the social norms the society requires us to follow. If we only stay and think inside the “circles”, we will not be able to excite our imagination and develop our creativity.

Creativity is of great importance not only to individuals but also to our society and the world. It makes our daily lives easier and more interesting, and it also promotes advancement in different aspects, such as technology, of the society and the world.

To help ourselves think out of the “circles”, we can develop the habits of explaining things back to ourselves and asking questions whenever we can, which enables us to understand and process what we have learnt every day. We should also open ourselves to new ideas and concepts in order to prevent us from being bounded by our own ideas.

Here is one more creativity exercise to do with your friends:

  Write down five objects around you. In three minutes, think of as many uses as possible for each object. Share your ideas with each other. Do they amaze you?

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