Monday, May 14, 2012


 You know the look. A student who is supposed to be writing is staring at the blank page. You can almost smell the panic. The blankness seems to be seeping into the kid's brain, causing all possible ideas to evaporate.
           In Jonah Lehrer’s great new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, he notes that few creative breakthroughs have occurred while the artist or inventor is actually sitting down staring at the blank page.
          Guest blogger Nancy Viau addresses this in her “Are You Bogged Down?” entry with some great suggestions to kick-start creativity. I’m going to add a simple idea that can be easily used in the classroom. If I’m working with students and I notice one falling prey to the curse of the blank page, I walk over and whisper: “Close your eyes and imagine that the story is playing like a little movie in your mind…what do you see?” The student begins to talk, describing the scene. I say, “Oooh, that’s great! Write that down!”
         Boom! Curse broken.

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