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Pushing the Envelope - The Missing Alphabet
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Pushing the Envelope

MicrophoneAnother way to practice creative fluency is to begin with an idea, object or subject and brainstorm wilder and crazier possibilities. This little game can help.

If I Didn’t...

A good book to “prime the mind:” Jenny’s Hat by Ezra Jack Keats

This game can be played alone but is better when played with others. If you play it in a group, sit in a circle and go around the circle as many times as you can. Try to get more and more ridiculous or outrageous. (Keep pushing the envelope!)

Person A:              If I didn’t have a cup, I’d drink from a __________________________ .

Person B:              If I didn’t have that, I’d use a __________________________ .

Persons C, etc.      If I didn’t have that, I’d use a __________________________ .

When you simply cannot think of one more idea, do one or more of the following, alone or with a partner:

  • Draw a picture of a person drinking from something unusual.
  • Construct a new object for drinking.
  • Act out a skit or write a story about cups had disappearing.
  • Write a 1st person song or poem, “I am a cup…”

Repeat the game with one or more of these objects:

  • a house
  • a television
  • a chair
  • a pair of shoes
  • a television
  • bed
  • pencil
  • coat
  • pet dog
  • bicycle
  • ball
  • jump rope
  • microphone
  • cookie

Crazy Combos

Push the envelope by imagining everyday objects/subjects with new characteristics.

A good book to “prime the mind:” Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

This game can be played alone or with a partner.

  • Write the objects/subjects on separate cards.
  • Write the characteristics in another color on their own cards.
  • Randomly choose one from each set of cards; e.g., “Tall Chair.”
  • Draw, construct, act out, dance or write a poem, story or song about the combination. (If you really don’t like the results, try again.)
  • Optional: Choose just one object/subject but several characteristics.

 

Objects/Subjects

Characteristics

 

chair

shoe

hat

chair

television

refrigerator

bed

 

cat

dog

bird

fish

monkey

horse

lion

swing

skate

slide

doll

bicycle

ball

wagon

tall

tiny

purple

transparent

bumpy

scratchy

sweet

round

flat

noisy

silent

jazzy

flowing

rocketing

enormous

bright

dark

flexible

slippery

growing

shrinking

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