Invention Lesson Plans for Grades K-12
Lesson 6: Ideate a Solution
Can you find a USER with a NEED in the book, The Thing about Swings?
Sometimes there are problems YOU may experience while designing a new product or generating ideas.
Read this book and ponder the questions in the slides: The Thing about Inventors.
So, The Thing about Inventors are:
Be ready for criticism of your ideas. Some will challenge you to THINK and make it better. Others will be mean-spirited like the Skunk's comments. Be ready to tell the difference.
Focus one ONE PROBLEM and ONE USER. Monkey had such good ideas, but got distracted by creating protoypes that solved problems for many of his friends.
Don't give up! You will have ideas that won't work and that is okay. Keep going. Keep brainstorming.
Surround yourself with people who are also passionate about solving the problem and work together.
As we learn more about brainstorming ideas and working with a team, remember to NOT be like the skunk character who is a negative voice and always criticizing the ideas of others.
It is natural to think our ideas are the best and to like them the most. However, it is important to LISTEN and RESPECT what team members share as we prepare to learn about the next step in design thinking . . . IDEATE.
What is Ideate?
Knowledge you have gained about the problem and user
We ideate in order to transition from identifying problems to creating solutions. Ideation is your chance to combine the understanding you have of the problem, your knowledge of the specific user, and your imagination to generate an innovative or new solution.
Ideation is about generating MANY ideas before you can select the best solution. This goes beyond a single idea! The determination of the best solution will be discovered later, through user testing and feedback.
Many characters in stories give us examples of IDEATION. Let's Read Those Darn Squirrels! by Adam Rubin and see if you can find ideas a character had in order to solve a problem.
Elements of Creativity
Many times people are tempted to go with their first idea . . . ONE AND DONE! BOO! Where is the fun in that? What if the best idea ever only came after all of the "normal" ideas were dumped from your brain first?
Meet Mrs. Rogers who is a teacher. She wants her students to practice brainstorming and asks them to list "Things you CATCH" in one minute. She goes around to the groups to help them evaluate ideas. This is what the first group did:
1. The number of ideas the students listed is their FLUENCY score. It is important to record all the ideas you think of because your goal is to have a large number of ideas. In that way you are more likely to discover your best idea!
2. The number of categories in the students' responses determines their FLEXIBILITY score. The main category of ideas was SPORTS and ANIMALS. It is easy to get stuck in a muck by sticking to one theme of ideas, such as, animals you can catch. However, it is important to go beyond the obvious and think of a variety of things you can catch. For example, Ronalzo considered catching a cold - he considered a new category - ILLNESS. Grace thought about catching enthusiasm which is a new category - EMOTION. The more category of ideas, the better!
When solving problems, it is VERY IMPORTANT to consider a wide variety of ideas before you choose the best one. Practice helps your brain to learn to be more creative!
Don't stop too soon!
Don't judge your ideas as you are thinking of them
Welcome YOUR crazy and silly ideas
Consider many categories of ideas
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One way to practice creative thinking is SCAMPER. What does that mean? Grab an OREO and review these slides!
Teachers: Please click on HERE to open SCAMPER slides with speaker notes.
Click HERE to access SCAMPER Kahoot game!
Another activity to sharpen your ability to notice how SCAMPER may have influenced inventors! Go on a scavenger hunt for examples of a inventions that are examples of the letters in SCAMPER.
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We have spent time with your noticing how OTHER people have used SCAMPER and their creative thinking skills. Now it is time for you to practice brainstorming. Before you start, let's review the BRAINSTORMING RULES:
SCAMPER YOUR GROUP'S PROBLEM:
Now is the time to work through the Ideate a Solution Packet to help your team research ideas for a solution. We will begin by reviewing the packet together, then get into your teams to work through each part. You will do the following:
Research Google patents, Amazon and other websites and record what similar products are currently on the market on the handout. They will need to have this information on their Google slides/tri-board AND pitch.
Continue to SCAMPER their solution if they feel their idea is not original, too costly or not feasible.
Sketch a variety of ideas you have for your solution and create a series of prototypes to demonstrate iteration of ideas. (See videos below)
Students can evaluate their sketches and ideas using criteria in decision matrix.