Imagine a World – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Imagine a World

Children imagine a funny situation and draw a picture to go along with it. This activity provides children with a chance to be funny and creative by resolving incongruencies.

Materials Required

  • Paper
  • Something to write with
  • Computer with photo editing software (optional)

Instructions

  1. Imagine a funny situation that might happen if one of these were true:
  • Cats could speak
  • There was no gravity between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. each night
  • Humans could breathe underwater
  • Kids could study whatever they wanted to at school
  • Artwork was never criticized

 

  1. Picture how to tell this story in a visual way rather than tell the story. Draw a picture, make a collage, or use photo-editing software to create an image that shows the humor. Write a caption such as “Imagine a world where cats could speak” to go along with the picture.

Additional Tips

Try these activity variations:

  • Think about other limitations of daily life that could be changed. Write new “Imagine a world…” starters and share them with others.
  • Rather than a still drawing, think of ideas for a short film or animation that would bring more detail to the story. Do some research on storyboarding, and try making a storyboard to tell the story through a series of pictures.

Links to Creativity

Incongruency is a fancy word for when something doesn’t fit or make sense. Many times, things are funny because they are incongruent with how we expect them to be. Our expectations often come from the connections or associations we make between something and its usual surroundings. For example, we don’t commonly think of gravity as something we can turn on and off. This activity provides examples of silly scenarios, and by resolving incongruencies (i.e., making the silly make sense) children will be funny and creative. In fact, activities just like this are part of the Torrance Tests for Creative Thinking, the gold standard for measuring creative thinking.

Supporting research includes:

Filipowicz, A. (2006). From positive affect to creativity: The surprising role of surprise. Creativity Research Journal18(2), 141-152.

O’Quin, K., & Derks, P. (1997). Humor and creativity: A review of the empirical literature. In M. A. Runco (Ed.), The Creativity Research Handbook (Vol. 1) (pp. 223-252). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Torrance, E., & Safter, H. T. (1989). The long range predictive validity of the Just Suppose Test. The Journal of Creative Behavior23(4), 219-223.

Contributor

This activity was contributed by the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. It is inspired by the “Just Suppose” task, which is one of the techniques for measuring creativity building on J.P. Guilford's work and used by E. Paul Torrance as part of the Torrance ® Tests of Creative Thinking (TCCT).  For more information and resources see CenterForChildhoodCreativity.org.   ©2015 Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Imagine a World

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