The future of humankind is full of challenges. Being creative is a must to find solutions to change the world and save our beloved planet. But it's not always easy to find ideas. Here is a little game to unlock your brains and reveal the most surprising, unexpected and brilliant ideas within you. The activity develops presentation and communication skills, raising awareness at the same time over topics of modern societal and environmental challenges.
Pens or pencils and sheets of paper
8-12 years old, in group, support of an adult, write
15 min. or more
Topic 1: Creative thinking: Children need to be creative to overcome the challenges of the future. Creativity isn't easy to learn, but there are ways to trigger it. Brainstormings are often performed within companies and creative agencies to solve problems and find solutions. In the classroom, this game can be used to find ideas on topics like how to recycle in class, how to make the school greener, how to make the classroom high-tech, etc.
Being creative allows finding solutions to many issues: new approaches to management or governance, reduction of consumption, adaptation to climate change, etc.
Topic 2: Teamplay and collaborative learning: This game can be part of the participative management of the classroom. By definition, participative management is "a management style that requires the cooperation of personnel. It aims to build commitment and develop initiatives within work teams. To do this, the manager must delegate parts of his power and it's necessary that the teams decide together what solutions to adopt." Each team will find ideas on the given topics. Once the winning team is announced, the participants can have a deeper look at the answers submitted. Afterwards, a deliberation phase can be proposed to select the best ideas amongst those suggested by the different teams and start working further on them.
This game can be played at the beginning of the year to write down the classroom rules in a participative way.
Topic 3: Presentation, communication and argument skills: The Brainstorming activity develops largely argument thinking when children need to justify their selection of words and sentences before the rest of the class. Children can use argumentation as one of the languages of science that mediates how they interact with the surrounding world.
Game narrative: The earth is threatened. There are so many challenges to overcome: contain climate change, build peace, create sustainable communities, etc. We need you and your best ideas to overcome these challenges. Sometimes the most unexpected and craziest ideas may be a good solution. This game will help you find these ideas within you.
Game rules: To win this game you need to find as many ideas as you can on a given topic. In the first round, participants brainstorm words which could be related to a given topic/word (forest, for example). In the second round, teams brainstorm around sentences which give solutions to a world challenge (pollution in the mountains, for example). The group with the most/the most diverse ideas wins. Be careful, your ideas need to fit the topic and nonsense is not an option.
Role of the teacher and game organisation: The teacher is the animator of the game. She/He chooses the topics of brainstorming and is the time master. She/He decides how many rounds will be played.
The game can be played with minimum of two participants, yet it is recommendable to be played in groups. Four kids per group would be ideal.
A whiteboard or a video projector can be used by the teacher to display the results of the rounds. The board can be used to write down children's propositions and ideas. Those that are worth being kept. For example, If the subject of the brainstorming is to define classroom rules, all the ideas can be written on the board and then voted by the children.
The game master (teacher) chooses a topic. Planet Earth for example. The teams have one minute to find as many words as they can be related to this word (Planet earth here). Example: atmosphere, life, solar system...
When the time is over, the game master counts the points as followed:
A word found by both teams is daft "0" points
A word out of the subject is "-1" point (football, bread...)
A word found only by a team is "1" point
The team with the most points wins.
In the second round, the teams need to find ideas to solve a problem. How to avoid global warming for example. The teams have two minutes to find as many ideas as they can to solve the problem. Examples: Ban the car and use only bicycles, plant trees in the desert...
When the time is over, the game master counts the points:
An idea found by both teams is daft 0 points
An idea out of the subject is "-2" points (eat pasta, play a game of chess)
An idea found only by a team is "2" points
The team with the most points wins.
Common sense brainstorming
3 Teams minimum! In this round, teams will be asked to find rules or solutions to resolve a problem/challenge. E.g. in the case of "Deforestation" world challenge, a rule could be "You are not allowed to cut trees, unless they are dry!". The aim of the teams is to find common-sense rules, applicable to all. This time thinking-alike is promoted.
When the time is over, the game master counts the points.
A rule/solution found by more than one team is "1" point. All teams that have come out with the rule/solution, gain as many points as the teams that have pointed it out (e.g. 3 teams which have come up with the solution/rule win 3 points each).
An idea found only by one team is a daft "0" point.
The teacher substracts points to a team if the children speak loud. It would be considered cheating as the other teams might listen to their ideas and rewrite them.
submit your work
Feel free to share you work with the unplugged partners and even with the European teacher's community! This will enable us to follow your achievements and reward you with game materials and other surprises to thank you for your participation in raising children's critical thinking! You rock!
Topic 1 - Creative thinking: To explore further how to teach children creative thinking:
You may consider referring to other Unplugged quests, such as Pop-up City of the Future, Poverty-free game collection, Fantasy out there!, Form Factor, The Perfect City
Creative thinking starts with creative crafting. Here are a couple of online libraries that provide crafting activities :
La Fabulerie's ludoboxes are little DIY activities to print and play with at home. Find them in French here with a speechless video tutorial and downloadable PDF without text: https://lefabuleuxmusee.com/les-ludobox-du-fabuleux-musee
Topic 2 - Collaborative learning: More information about benefits and how to perform collaborative learning here:
Topic 3 - Argue your ideas: Further exploring how to enhance children's arguing skills thanks to:
Other Unplugged quests, such as Pop-up City of the Future, The Perfect City, Farm in the City, Brainstorming, etc.
You may consider filming or recording the children to keep track of their idea and improve their expression skills. La Fabulerie created interfaces to record video testimonies available here: https://lafabulerie.com/ressource/videomaton/