Teacher Diaries: Mr. Adam – Creativity

I often think of creativity as the ability to think about everyday things in new ways. In a rapidly changing world, the skill of being able to come up with fresh ways to look at problems has never been so vital. Because of this, I would encourage all parents and teachers to keep this in mind when teaching children who will have to face a future which will potentially be very different to the present. But how do we help children develop their creativity?

One way is through games that encourage exactly the type of thinking that we’re not used to. Take everyday objects, plastic bottles, shoes, tissue boxes, an Octopus card, and think of novel and inventive ways to use them. Perhaps you could turn the shoe into a small boat for your teddy bear, or maybe the plastic bottle could become a colourful plant pot. You could be very adventurous and see who can think of the craziest idea! This is one way to get children thinking creatively and ‘outside the box’, so to speak.

Another way to encourage children to think laterally and creatively is to work on riddles together. Riddles often require you to think about everyday objects in fresh ways, or to consider old ideas from new angles. One of my favourites to ask children is the following:

You are standing in Room A and you see three light switches. Behind a closed door in Room B, there is a light bulb which is controlled by only one of the switches in Room A. You can only open the door to Room B once, and there is no way to see whether the light bulb is on or off without opening the door. How can you find out which of the three switches controls the light bulb?

Hint: We know that light bulbs give off light. What else do they do?

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