A Month of Headlines – Bay Area Discovery Museum

A Month of Headlines

Imagine 31 different newspaper headlines to go with one newspaper photo! This activity helps children develop flexible thinking by looking deeply at a photo and going beyond the obvious explanations for what is happening in the picture.

Materials Required

  • Newspaper headline photo(s)
  • Blank paper to write out headlines


This activity can be completed all in one sitting or children can write one headline each day for a month.

  1. Look at the newspaper headline photo. Imagine the first and most obvious news story for that particular image.
  2. Write down a catchy newspaper headline that could go with the photo.
  3. Try to look at the photo in many different ways. Write 30 more catchy newspaper headlines for the photo—write a unique headline for each one.

Additional Tips

This activity works best if the newspaper headline photo is open to a lot of different interpretations. Try to find a photo that allows for flexibility.

Try this activity variation: Play “A Week of Headlines.” Imagine seven different headlines instead of 31. This version works well as a warm-up or if time is limited. It’s also a good option for younger players.

Links to Creativity

This activity helps children come up with original ideas by: (a) getting really good at a certain task, or mastery; and (b) switching how we look at a problem. In other words, being skillful with a particular task or being familiar with a certain topic can help free us to try new and more challenging ways to approach a project. Furthermore, this activity asks children to consider different perspectives in order to come up with more ideas. This is what creativity research calls ideational fluency. This skill is a predictor of original and more creative ideas.

Supporting research includes:

Binet, A. & Simon, T. (1905). The development of intelligence in children. L'Annee Psychologique 11, 163-191.

Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.

Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review100(3), 363-406.

Runco, M. A., & Okuda, S. M. (1991). The instructional enhancement of the flexibility and originality scores of divergent thinking tests. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 5(5), 435-441.

Simon, H. A. & Chase, W. (1973). Skill in chess. American Scientist 61, 394-403.

Simon, H. A. & Chase, W. G. (1977). Skill in Chess. In I. L. Janis (Ed.), Current trends in psychology: Readings from American scientist (pp. 194-203). Los Altos, CA: William Kauffman.


This activity was contributed by the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. For more information and resources see CenterforChildhoodCreativity.org. ©2015 Bay Area Discovery Museum.

A Month of Headlines

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