Inventive Thinking

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Pre-primary school invention idea

“Imagination is more important than knowledge, for imagination embraces the world.” Albert Einstein.

Children of all age are talented and creative. This activity will give them an opportunity to develop their creative potential and synthesize and apply knowledge and skills by creating an invention or innovation to solve a problem just like a “real” inventor would.

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Introducing inventive thinking

Ask the students to look around them in the classroom and find all that are inventions. Let them list down on paper all of the inventions they discover. An example could be the ruler. What would improve these inventions? – Think, Pair, Share.

Before the students begin to find their own problems and create unique inventions or innovations to solve them, they can be assisted as a group by the teacher by taking them through some of the steps addressed below.

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Practising inventive thinking with the class

Finding the Problem.

Let the class list the problems in their own classroom that need solving. Use the “brainstorming” technique. Select one problem for the class to solve using the following steps:

  1. Find several problems. Select one to work on.
  2. Analyse the situation.
  3. Think of many, varied, and unusual ways of solving the problem.

List the possibilities. Be sure to allow even the silliest possible solution, as creative thinking must have a positive accepting environment in order to flourish.

Finding a Solution.

  1. Select one or more possible solutions to work on. You may want to divide into groups if the class elects to work on several of the ideas.
  2. Improve and refine the idea(s).
  3. Share the class or individual solution(s)/invention(s) for solving the class problem.

Solving a “class” problem and creating a “class” invention will help students learn the process and make it easier for them to work on their own invention projects.