Elementary Gateway May 2022 Newsletter
Elementary students have been practicing their critical thinking skills this year through fun, interactive group activities. Divergent thinking is one of the students’ favorite thinking skills to explore. Divergent thinking is the process of creating multiple, unique ideas or different ways to solve a problem by utilizing flexibility, fluency, and originality of thought.
At the primary level, divergent thinking is introduced as thinking like an “inventor” and thinking like a “storyteller.” Colorful conversations emerged as we compared how inventors and storytellers are alike and different.
First grade students practiced divergent thinking by looking at shapes in new and different ways. Students looked at unfinished pictures and imagined what they could be, then created elaborative details to show their unique ideas. First graders have also practiced thinking like a storyteller by creating a class poem using onomatopoeia to describe a noisy place. Ask your child to share some fun examples of onomatopoeia with you!
Second grade students practiced divergent thinking by creating a story about a meadow using colorful and creative words. First, as a group, we brainstormed a list of what you may see in a meadow. Then we elaborated on how each item looked, moved around, and the sounds they would make. Listening to their stories come to life felt like being transported to another place.
Third grade students exercised divergent thinking by exploring “Skedoodles”, which used brainstorming with an emphasis on creativity, elaboration and humor. Students viewed an abstract or unfinished picture, then created a caption to explain what they imagined the picture to be. To extend their divergent thinking, students created their own unique “Skedoodles” then asked classmates to provide various captions. Laughter was in abundance as students shared their unique ideas in this lesson.
Divergent thinking activities are often considered fun by students but it is also an important skill as lifelong learners. Teamwork relies on flexible and creative thinkers for success. Problem solving often needs innovative ideas that require looking at a situation in a different way. Families can continue this skill at home with the following activities:
- Role-playing games such as charades, Guesstures & Cranium
- Pictionary, Scattergories, & Taboo require brainstorming & creative thinking
- Collaborative storytelling games such as Story Circle
Mrs. Lynn Tabor & Mrs. Ellen Zontini