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101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving

101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving


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Published by: scanipoos on Apr 16, 2008
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This activity is “the ticket” to enhancing your group’s creativity. And it’s well worth the
price of admission. All you have to do is turn in your tickets and watch the ideas flow. It’s
as simple as that. That’s the Ticket! is a relatively uncomplicated brainstorming variation I
developed as another form of brainwriting (that is, ideas are generated silently and in writ-
ing), which has been shown to result in more ideas than traditional brainstorming activities.


•To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible

•To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas


Small groups of four to seven people each

Materials,Supplies,and Equipment

•For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart


•For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots


⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it®


•As many blank paper tickets as there are participants (the same size as movie theater
tickets, approximately one inch by three inches) available at novelty stores and party
shops (Tickets can also be cut from blank pieces of paper or index cards)


•That’s the Ticket! Handout


20 minutes


Brainstorming with Related Stimuli

09 VG 247-294b 10/6/04 12:22 PM Page 287

Related Activities

•Pass the Hat [63]

•Idea Pool [85]


1.Distribute the That’s the Ticket! Handout, review it with the participants, and
answer any questions they may have.

2.Give each group member ten blank tickets.

3.Tell them to write one idea on each ticket and place them in the center of a table.

4.Have one group member withdraw two tickets and read them aloud to the group.

5.Instruct the groups to use the combination of the two ideas as possible stimulation
for new ideas.

6.Tell them to return the two tickets to the middle of the table and have another
group member select two more tickets.

7.Ask them to repeat the process of choosing tickets and generating ideas until all
group members have selected two tickets at least once or time has expired.

8.Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-it®

Notes (one idea per note) and place

them on flip charts for evaluation.


This activity has three primary strengths. The first is that it is a brainwriting variation in
that ideas are generated in writing. Research (Diehl & Stroebe, 1991; VanGundy, 1993)
indicates that brainwriting will result in substantially more ideas than conventional
brainstorming, since multiple ideas are generated more or less at the same time—unlike
brainstorming, in which one idea at a time is contributed. However, it also provides ver-
bal brainstorming when combining two tickets, thus offsetting the brainwriting weakness
of lacking verbal interaction. The second is that you are guaranteed at least ten ideas per
group member (assuming each member follows the instructions). Thus, if you have five
group members, you’ll get at least fifty ideas before beginning brainstorming. The third
and less important strength is that the activity provides a more interesting way to gener-
ate ideas.

Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions:

•What was most helpful about this exercise?

•What was most challenging?

•What can we apply?

•How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue?

•Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions?

•What did you learn?

•What will we be able to use from this exercise?

•What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting?


101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving

09 VG 247-294b 10/6/04 12:22 PM Page 288

That’s the Ticket! Handout

Suppose your problem involves improving a telephone. Two ideas might be (1) a padded
ear piece and (2) a built-in radio that either listener can hear if put on hold. These two
ideas together suggest the idea of a built-in radio with volume control (from “padded ear
piece,” which suggests the concept of making something soft).


Brainstorming with Related Stimuli

101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving.Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com

09 VG 247-294b 10/6/04 12:22 PM Page 289


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