When dealing with creativity, remember that there are no wrong answers! Helping our students develop problem solving and listening skills increases their self-confidence and promotes creative thinking in the classroom.

Teach Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, and Listening Skills!These exercises help students learn how their body language, tone of voice, language, and actions impact others while offering them opportunities to think creatively.

1. Go around the class and have each student say the word “yes”, each in a different way and with a different interpretation. Discuss how the word’s meaning changes depending on body language and tone of voice.

2. Now try a sentence like “I don’t blame you.” And see how many different interpretations you can get.

3. Try having the students have conversations while speaking only numbers. Can they convey thoughts and feelings?

4. In pairs, students decide which partner can only say ‘please’ and which can only say ‘no’. They converse with only those two words.

5. Movement can also be added to the ‘please-no’ activity. The first speaker touches the second on their shoulder as they speak. The second speaker moves three steps before responding.

6. Students sit with their back to a partner. Each has the same packet of nine cut out squares and triangles. One student is the sender and the other is a muted receiver. The sender makes a geometric figure with any six of their pieces, and then instructs the receiver to make the same pattern using only verbal instructions.

7. Another option is to have the sender make a figure on graph paper and then instruct the receiver to recreate the figure.

8. Find a ‘self-space’ in the room where you are not bumping into anyone. With closed eyes, reach out and discover your space – the top, walls, and bottom.

9. With a partner, try a mirror activity where one student leads while another follows, just like a reflection in a mirror.

10. Line up in small groups of five to seven. Have one of the students in each group be ‘the leader.’ The leader taps each participant on the shoulder one at a time, quickly. Running forward, they join their teammates in forming a living statue. Give each team a name for their statue before they begin, i.e. “What an accident!”

11. One student thinks of a present that they would like to give someone. Then they scrunch down as though they were in a package. Another student ‘unwraps’ the package while the ‘present’ presents itself as in a charade.

12. Act out vocabulary words using visual images that will set the word in students’ minds forever.

For more by Fritz Bell, check out his books, Let’s Create Again and Total Body Learning; Movement and Academics by clicking here.

RTI Strategies for Secondary TeachersFor more information on differentiation and Response to Intervention, see Susan Fitzell’s book, RTI Strategies for Secondary Teachers.

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