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Creativity, Inspiration, and Innovation


  • Project TitleCreativity, Inspiration, and Innovation
  • What FrameworksELA, Mathematics, Science/Technology/Engineering
  • School / DistrictGeorgetown High School
  • Name of ContactJulie DeRoche, Director of Curriculum and Instruction,, 978-352-5790
  • Brief DescriptionCreativity, Inspiration, and Innovation builds on the concept
    that the global economy is driven by innovation. In this required 9th grade course, students identify a problem and invent an innovative product or service to solve the problem. They apply science and math to create prototypes, and use concepts of entrepeneurship, marketing, accounting, and management to create a business plan for launching their creation. They document their work and get feedback through online blogs and make video “infomercials” about their inventions to show in an end-of-course Creativity Showcase.
  • PartnersSuffolk University Entrepreneurship Program
    The Creative Education Foundation
  • Photo and Caption #1Photo
  •  /project483_1783/photo 1.JPG
  • MA Curriculum FrameworksMA Frameworks:
    We plan enhance our curriculum units through a deeper integration of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and research standards as defined in the 9-10 grade span of 2011 MA Frameworks for English Language Arts.

    Students will delve deeper into open-ended research questions, gathering and the use of data, as well as building skills for explaining a difficult concept and/or solving a complex problem.

    Students will also develop and practice good questioning skills, problem solving techniques, and perseverance support as defined in the Standards for Mathematical Practice of 2011 MA Mathematics standards.

Key Questions

  • Key QuestionsIdea 1: Why do people create things?
    Idea 2: How is creative and innovative thinking a process?
    Idea 3: What does creation and innovation look like for my ideas? (Challenge)
  • Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?The key questions and overall topic for these units were devised to support students‘ knowledge and skills to understand the creative design process, participate in self-reflection, generate creative ideas for a student-identified problem, and participation in problem solving and solution design.
  • Background Research: What resources were used to find background information for this project?Teachers researched creativity and innovation. Two teachers attended the Creative Education Foundation‘s conference learned more about the creative problem solving method and built that knowledge into class lessons.
  • Outcomes: What was the outcome? How was it shared or applied in the community?The course and units embedded in the Creativity, Inspiration, and Innovation course were successful, however, teachers feel that more time must be devoted to learning about the creative process. Teachers also feel that better student work can be attained through use of the creativity rubric and design of lessons and activities for students. The Creativity Showcase could also use support and a more specified agenda with speakers and innovators supporting the work being done in the classroom.
  • Family: Any opportunities to involve parent/guardians and other family members in this project?Students‘ final presentations at the Creativity Showcase supports family and community involvement.

Units / Activities

  • Course Title: Creativity, Inspiration, and Innovation 5-7 periods (45 minute periods) Week 1: Introduction: What is creativity? What experts say: "Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are locatePurpose: To explore the concept of creativity and a world of ideas
    CPS Activities & Descriptions:
    1) Introduction/Ground Rules/Wall Quotes/Smash Journals
    Teachers will introduce Smash Journals: Students will be given their own smash journals to capture the process and progress of creative thinking.Students will choose from a myriad of pictures and choose one picture that he/she identifies with and paste it in the journal. Students will then write about themselves and their ideas on their own personal creativity.

    What is Creativity?
    a) Myths about creativity
    b) Why Man Creates, Video
    -Teachers will describe/discuss with students why criticism feels like hurt.
    -Teachers and students will analyze the video and discuss/journal what ‘big ideas changed the edifice and what is missing from the edifice.‘
    c) Creative Being Exercise
    Activity: Students create a Creative Being exercise
    Students will create a Creative Being, first as a team, and then create a personal Creative Being in their journal. Students will write about the qualities of creativity inside the creative being, and then on the outside they will write ‘judgments‘. Students will analyze what the personal voice of judgment gets in peoples‘ way and will write these terms outside of the creative being. Focus Question: What is the self-talk that negates creativity? Students will then work with a group to identify things that they are able to do to get past the voice of judgment. Students will then (using stickies) cover the judgmental words they have written outside of the Creative Being with new, affirming words and phrases

    Students will create and Identity/Personal Style "All About Me" Poster
    Students will create a collage on their front of their journal about what inspires and reflects who they are as individuals. Students will consider their internal voice of judgment throughout this process.
    3) Students will participate in activities from How to be and Explorer of the World and Finish This Book. (see resources)
    2) Teacher will assign a ‘Thinking Captain‘ to help students discuss their ideas and connect activities-their job is to stop positive and negative criticism and self-judgement, to keep the conversations going by asking deeper questions. Teachers can list questions for Thinking Captains to use until students get used to this experience.
    Assessment: Students will write a reflection of "Who I Am" as a creative person.
    1 page written paper.

    Resources: Why Man Creates (video) Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg Author: Carrie Smith: -Wreck This Journal -How to be an Explorer of the World -Finish This Book -Everything is Connected
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    View/Download File: What is Creativity Rubric

    View/Download File: Week One Lessons

  • Week 2: Divergent Thinking 5-7 periods (45 minute periods)PURPOSE: To explore the various understandings of “divergent thinking”
    CPS Activities & Descriptions:
    1) Divergent Thinking-Read Aloud: Not a Stick & Not a Dot
    2) Brainstorm
    Students will brainstorm in their journals using bubbles on ipads and fishbone brainstorm tools what divergent thinking looks like using these resources as a
    3) Defer Judgment
    Students will learn how to defer judgement and make connections playing the following games:
    1) Snap, Snap, Clap Game
    Students get in a circle, slap hands to thighs, snap one hand, then the other, and clap. After a clap, a person says a word (i.e. white) and everyone will repeat the snapping and clapping. The next person has to say a related word (i.e. snow). Repeat to get around the circle a few times. Debrief: How did that go? Did students get stuck? Why?
    2) Squiggle Drawing: Students are given a squiggle and are asked to create something creative from it. Each student then describes his/her interpretation of what the squiggle has become. Debrief: What types of different creative images have students created? What thoughts were created and shared among students?
    3) Please Don‘t _____ the Animals: Quantity not Quality/Fluency/Stealing
    Students break into small groups of 2-4. Teacher hands out adding machine paper. No judgment on ideas but ideas must be G-Rated and OK for the Disney Channel. Create as many single words as possible in a restricted amount of time. (1-2 minutes). Debrief: What happened? If you got stuck, why did you?, When you were on a roll, what happened? What was your favorite answer and why?
    4) Wild and Crazy: Students create creativity cans and explain their creation

    Showcase Prep:
    Future Possibilities-what jobs don‘t exist yet, but could? Students journal this idea of future possibilities for jobs.
    Possibilities Logs: Teacher reads What Do You Do With an Idea (book) and students create a written reflection and response to this book in their journals.
    Divergent Thinking: What did I learn throughout these activities about brainstorming? Describe two divergent exercises/games that helped me to improve. Students are able to present a voice memo and/or 30 second video blog clip as an assessment response.

    Books by Antoinette Portis Not a Stick Not a Dot Smash Journals/Voice or Video Memo (phones/ipads)
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    View/Download File: Week Two Lessons

  • Week 3: Failure, Stealing Ideas, and Remixes 5-7 periods (45 minute periods)PURPOSE: To explore factors that inhibit creativity.
    1) Remix Exercise
    Students will watch Everything is Remix and will discuss the process of ‘stealing and re-purposing‘ ideas. Students will watch the video with journals in hand. Students will actively respond to the following prompts while watching the video:
    What are you thinking right now? Are there any original ideas? What exists in your psyche and what exists in your experience? The goal is for students to shift their thinking and to try to use "remix" instead of "stealing."
    2) What Are You Doing Exercise? (Fluency)
    Create two lines of students with the first two people facing each other. Curve the line so that everyone can see the action. Person #1 pantomimes an activity (brushing their teeth). Person #2 asks, "NAME, what are you doing?" Person #1 replies something other than what they are pantomiming (says "flying a kite") Person #2 starts doing what Person #1 states they were doing (acting out flying a kite) and Person #1 goes to back of the line. Repeat so all participants have their turn. Debrief: How was that? Did you get stuck? Why?
    3) Thunderdome Exercise (Failure)
    Teacher sets up an interactive game where students will fail. Every student cheers for one another when they fail (in a loud thunderdome, students cheer Yes! Yeah!)
    4) Create an Animal Exercise (Fluency & Judgment)
    Teacher gets photos of animals and cuts them in half. Small groups take two different animal halves.Students work together to tell the story of that animal. Students report out: What is the animals name? Where does that animal live? What does it eat? How does it behave? What does it like and dislike?
    Debrief: What happened in your group? Did you get stuck? Why? How might you have opened doors (using terms like, "yes, and" continue the creative thinking)
    Showcase Prep:
    Possibility Log
    Diverging: Working on each others‘ perspectives-here is what I‘m doing, waht aer our ideas-round robin with a friend. Write your problem on a piece of paper or in your journal and ask questions.
    Do a Remix: Students will create a remix and will make two or three lists (topic/medium/style) to create a remix. Students can create a collage, video, or write a paragraph describing their idea of a good remix.

    Everything is a Remix (film) Part 1: Smash Journals Animal Pictures Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
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    View/Download File: Remix Rubric

    View/Download File: Week Three Lessons

  • Week 4: Perspective, Creativity, and Convergent Thinking 5-7 periods (45 minute periods) ****Finish Convergent Thinking***PURPOSE: To define perspectives, real world creativity, and convergent thinking
    1) Jewlers‘ Scope Exercise (Reflection and Introspection)
    Use a jewler‘s scope to look through with one eye. Students look at their hands and describe what they see. Questions: What else does your hand look like? What else does this remind you of?
    Have students write separate answers on post it notes. Students then write basic descriptions and then layer the descriptions with metaphors or write short poems. Students then journal and share their findings in a public debrief. (Based upon an exercise from The Private Eye, by Kerry Ruff)
    2) Real World Creativity
    Students research CEO Creativity and learn about how businesses update based on creativity. (Support from Community, Parents, and Suffolk University for presentations and classroom speakers)
    3) Convergent Thinking
    The Private Eye by Kerry Ruff

    View/Download File: Week Four Student Activity

  • Week 5: Creative Problem Solving 5-7 periods (45 minute periods)Purpose: Creative Problem Solving
    Description: Students will participate in creative problem solving activities which will test diverging and converging. Teacher will demonstrate the CPS process through a problem that students‘ will be able to understand.
    1) Journal activity: How do you converge? Explain
    2) Interview the Wolf Exercise (Asking the Right Questions)
    Ask a student to be the Wolf. Before the exercise, create a different problem for the wolf. (i.e. he/she doesn‘t want to eat the pigs, he is trying to be their friend.) Have the other students interview the Wolf while the teacher scribes the answers to questions: Where are you from? How do you like the neighborhood? What do you like to do for fun?
    Work until the students drill down to the right questions, and then use CPS to find a solution. Debrief: What did you discover about the Wolf that you didn‘t anticipate? Have you ever had an experience when you solved for the wrong question?
    Students analyze:
    What happens if you have no influence over the answer to the question? How can you continue to do the work if it is something you have limited influence?
    1) Ask yourself the three I‘s: Do you have Influence? Is it Important to you? Do you have the Imagination to solve it?
    2) Identify the right problem/question.
    3) Solve the problem you have influence over.
    Showcase Prep: Ideate: Students work with their convergence log to continue to analyze their ideas and develop additional ideas for
    Chart Paper 3 Little Pigs (optional) Smash Journals
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    View/Download File: Week Five Lessons

  • Week 6: Cyrstalize and Commit 5-7 periods (45 minute periods)Purpose: Crystalize and Commit to Creativity Showcase Ideas
    a) Brainwriting-Students will write an idea at the top and circulate the idea and have people build on the idea. (P.27 CPS Handbook). Analyze: If you were selling this idea, how could you sell it to me? Students will write/journal the following based on their idea and feedback:
    b) What does my idea look like?
    c) Does it exist?
    d) Evidence that there is a market or need for it...
    e) Anonymous cross-class evaluation of preliminary pitches
    Assessment: Each student anonymously create 1 slide for a classroom PPT presentation that will be shared with another class. Students will rate the ideas and will craft peer evaluation centered around the evaluation rubric to enhance students‘ understanding of the they evaluation tool they will be assessed with for the final project.
    b) Develop
    Students will write the steps to further develop their ideas based on feedback. Students will draw out their ideas, and their sequence, using a storyboard. Students will answer more deeply: who, what, how and will use graphic organizers to narrow down ideas and assess positives, negatives, and limitations
    c) Plan of Action: Students will develop a plan of action using a template (under construction) to show the who, what, when, why, and how for their preliminary showcase ideas.
    Smash Journals PPT Slides Rubrics Action Plans
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    View/Download File: Week Six lessons

  • Week 7 and 8: Programming and Building Ideas 5-10 periods (45 minute periods)Purpose: Programming and Building Ideas
    Students will learn new tools and use three different modes to frame out and build ideas for final project. Teachers will instruct students on three different modes/software. Teachers will teach Google Sketch Up, You Tube Tutorials, Build a House, APP Builder, IMovie, Vimeo, Build a Prototype, Develop a Website, Garage Band, Computer Story Board, Poem, Song, Cartoons. Throughout these lessons, students will apply what they have learned to create and showcase their product.
    Time will be necessary for students to apply these concepts in three different ways to their showcase ideas.
    Showcase Prep:
    1) Identify three modes that will work for your idea and create them
    2) Seek an Expert...students will interview, log questions, and write their new information regarding their ideas after talking with a local expert
    3) Students will work with entrepreneur students from Suffolk for round table discussions. Students will journal their questions and responses from the round tables.
    Technology Speakers/Experts Smash Journals

    View/Download File: Modalities Rubric

    View/Download File: Week Seven and Eight Curriculum

  • Week 9: 5-7 periods (45 minute periods)Purpose: Developing Presentations for Showcase
    1) Students will develop their presentations and will write scripts for their informercials and commercials. Students will target market identification, develop ads, and will create 30-60 second elevator speeches for their classes.
    2) School-based Theater teacher will support students and provide improvisation exercises to support students‘ presence and public speaking skills.
    Assessment: Mini-business plan and 1 minute pitch presentation
    Technology Guest Theater Teacher Written Speeches & Scripts Mini-Business Plans
  • Final Project: Creativity ShowcasePurpose: Public Presentation of Products and Informercials
    Description: Students and the public will participate in the Creativity Showcase, which will showcase all students‘ presentations and products. Open to the public.
    (Final Showcase Rubric is under construction)
    Materials: 3 D Presentation boards, Ipads, 3D Printers, HS Auditorium and Cafeteria

    View/Download File: Week Seven and Eight Curriculum

  • Week 10: SummaryPurpose: Course Summary
    Teachers and students will analyze their experiences with the creativity showcase, implementation, organization, and problem solving experiences. Students will orally, and through formal written reflections, share their experiences with solving problems, creating something new to add value to the world and making contributions to the world.
    An Introduction to Design Thinking, In One Hour: Institute of Design at Stamford Final Written Reflections
  •  /project483_1783/project.png

    Web Link: GHS Creativity Showcase 2015 - YouTube

Instructional Techniques

  • Teacher directed Research Hands-On Exposure Student directed Project-based Learning Hands-on Group discussion Inter/Intrapersonal Skills Direct instruction Discussion Presetation Small and Large Group Audio/Visual Supports Teachers use all supports and techniques throughout the course to help develop and support students` learning

Assessment Techniques

  • Discussion Rubrics Formative Assessment Oral Presentation Summative Assessment Self Reflection Reflective Writing Oral presentations Teachers use all types of assessment when teaching units for this course. Teachers gather data and information in multiple formats, both online and though traditional classroom assessments. The goal for this project is to create a stronger summative and self-reflective component to this course.
  • The attached rubrics will be used during coursework identified in weekly activities

    View/Download File: /project483_1783/WhatisCreativitywk1Rubric.docx

    View/Download File: What is Creativity Rubric

    View/Download File: Remix Rubric

    View/Download File: Modalities Rubric

Activity Sheets

  • Ideas include:

    *Online Blogs across classes with shared focus questions

    *Coordinated self-reflective journals and student responses collected over time

Subject = ELA, Mathematics, Science | Grade Level = HS | Time Period = School Year | Program/Funding = | 189 |
Direct website link to this project: