Brainstorm for Quantity, not Quality


Being Creative

The problem: We must go through the common ideas to get to the interesting ones.

If you come up with lots of ideas, you eventually run out of common ideas and come up with interesting ones.


There Are No Silly Ideas

People often hesitate to tell others their ideas. They are afraid someone will laugh. It’s as if they have a black cloud instead of a mind. The black cloud makes them afraid to say anything.

To overcome that black cloud, brainstorm as many ideas as possible in a short time. No matter how silly, write down the idea. Do not waste time neatly writing down the ideas in detail.

What, after all, is “silly”? A little over a century ago, flying was called silly and stupid. In the early 19th century, the engineers of trains were afraid to go faster than 60 mph. People thought the body would implode!

Task 1.1.1 – Class

Ms. Smith is taking a class of 20 fifth graders camping overnight. Two classroom aides and two parents are also going. The class is taking ATV recreational vehicles to get to the campsite.

Two days before leaving, Ms. Smith and the two chaperones brainstorm what could go wrong.

They brainstorm 50 possible problems, including –

  1. bee sting
  2. run out of gas
  3. flat tire
  4. kid falls off from a tree
  5. wet firewood
  6. no firewood
  7. someone forgot sleeping bag
  8. someone did not bring extra clothing
  9. bear eats all the food
  10. zombies invade the camp
  11. someone has an allergic reaction to a bug bite
  12. kids fight
  13. it gets cold
  14. someone catches a cold
  15. forgot bread
  16. forgot matches
  17. someone falls in a hole
  18. rain
  19. aliens arrive
  20. kids sneak out of camp
  21. ghosts float into camp at midnight
  22. someone forgot their permission slip
  • Does Ms. Smith’s list contain any silly ideas?
  • Which idea is least likely to happen?
  • Which ideas are most likely to happen?

Kids and Creativity

Do you ever feel that some kids are really creative?

They come up with Gucci ideas while yours are like smelly tennis shoes.

It is true that some kids are more creative.

Just like some kids are better at math or basketball or blowing bubbles.

But anyone can learn to be creative.

Just follow these three steps:

  1. Brainstorm for quantity, not quality.
  2. Grade the ideas (Lesson 1.2).
  3. Put the A ideas in order (Lesson 1.3).