Here’s a strategy to stimulate creative thinking: Change size! Try some of these activities:
- Look up a map of your neighborhood or house on the Internet.
- Zoom in as close as you can. Trying zooming step by step.
- Zoom out as far as you can.
- Try the satellite view.
- Look on the Internet and in reference books to find the largest and smallest dinosaur, bird, tree, mammal, fish, river, person, etc.
- Read a story that involves giants, such as “Puss in Boots,” “Shrek,” or “Jack and the Beanstalk.”
- Read a story that involves tiny things, such as “Tom Thumb,” “Thumbelina,” or “The Littles.”
- Read a story where something changes size, such as “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Incredible Hulk” or “The Gigantic Turnip.”
- Look at books about giant animals, plants or other phenomena, such as elephants, blue whales, ostriches, giraffes, dinosaurs, sequoia trees, tsunamis, etc.
- Look at books about tiny animals, plants or other phenomena, such as ants, hummingbirds, chihuahua dogs, bonsai trees, etc.
- Look at tiny things, using a microscope.
- Make tiny things look larger by using a magnifying glass.
- Look at large things, using a telescope.
- Project images of different sizes of things on a wall. Stand next to them and imagine possibilities.
Take an animal, object or person you have already drawn or draw something new. Then, change its size. Ideas:
- Add a tiny stick figure to the picture so that it looks enormous.
- Cut out a giant hand and paste your picture in the middle of it so that it looks tiny.
- Change scale. Fold your drawing to make a 4 by 4 grid. Take another size of paper—either much larger or much smaller and fold it into a 4 by 4 grid. Copy each of the 16 sections of the original drawing onto the new grid.
- Use an action figure, doll or other small figure.
- Place it next to different kinds and sizes of things and photograph. Ideas: A banana, a chair, a pencil, a leaf, a bicycle, a cell phone, a flower.
- Use a small pad of sticky notes.
- Draw a circle or other small shape on the bottom sheet.
- Draw gradually larger and larger versions of the shape on the other sheets.
- Flip through the pad to see your shape “grow.”
- Repeat with another pad but this time start with one small shape and keep adding more and more shapes.
- Flip through the pad to see the crowd of shapes “grow.”
- Make a paper cup, crane, boat or other simple origami shape.
- Make another version as small as you can.
- Make another version as large as you can.
- What, if anything, happens to the shape when you change the size?
- Imagine new uses for the different sized objects.
Build.Take six pieces of ordinary or recycled paper.
- Roll each on the diagonal and tape to make paper “sticks.”
- Make a triangle with three of them. Connect with tape or staples.
- Tape or staple a new “stick” to each corner.
- Gather the other ends of the three new ones together and tape or staple. You now have a tetrahedron.
- Repeat with other sizes of paper. (With newspaper, you can make a shape big enough to sit in.
Use your creations to inspire one or more of the following:
- Write and/or act your own “Gulliver’s Travels” adventure story.
- Write a song, rap or poem. Audiotape it and play it back.
- Create an animated video.
Which activity did you like best?
What did you learn about yourself?