As the mind grows, so does the body. The teacher imparts this key message to their first-grade students at the beginning of this evidence-based SEL lesson. Here, students are prompted to share personal experiences of newfound mental abilities, which sets the stage for exploring the concept of creative thinking, the aptitude to generate fresh and original ideas.
To facilitate understanding of the lesson concept, the teacher employs the "Creativity Thought Cloud" visual aid. The teacher then writes the word "Creative" alongside its definition and asks the students to recite it several times to ensure they retain the idea. After this, first graders stand next to their desks and stretch their arms, preparing to exercise their minds just like they would their bodies.
"When students learn how to think creatively, they are better equipped to tackle real-world problems and make meaningful contributions to society."
Next, the teacher presents a scenario involving two curious mice, Maurice and Marrott, who are eager to learn how to read. To do this, they need to sneakily get close to their human friends, Davey Doddle and Mary, without being seen. With their creative thinking caps on, grade 1 students come up with clever ways to help the mice achieve this goal. They brainstorm and draw their imaginative ideas, each more inventive than the last.
With each idea shared and explored in the classroom, students gain more confidence in their creative thinking skills. They learn how to think outside the box, find innovative solutions to complex problems, and develop a positive self-concept as they realize their inputs are valuable and can make a difference.
Creative thinking skills can be applied not only to artistic or imaginative pursuits but also to everyday situations, such as finding a new way to complete a task or approaching a challenge from a different angle. When students learn how to think creatively, they are better equipped to tackle real-world problems and make meaningful contributions to society.