Seven Day Capture Challenge – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Seven Day Capture Challenge

Creative and innovative people need to keep track of their ideas so they aren’t forgotten, and so they can return to seeds of ideas at a later time. This weeklong challenge pushes children to practice this underappreciated skill to discover which ways of capturing ideas work best for them. Deliberate practice that involves regular and creative capturing of ideas is beneficial for awareness and expertise.

Materials Required

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil (something to write with)
  • Whatever materials you need for the five ways that you plan to try capturing ideas (could be a notebook, chalk, a telephone, a camera, a shoebox, or more)

Instructions

Day 1:

  1. Make a list of 10 different ways to capture creative ideas. For example: labeling a box for the project, taking 10 photos each day, calling a friend to talk about ideas at the end of the day, carrying a small notebook and pen at all times, scheduling 20 minutes during lunch to type ideas out on the computer, drawing pictures in a sketchbook, or recording audio notes throughout the day. If you already have a way of tracking ideas, try to experiment with small changes to make it better. For example, if you always have a notebook and write words, try drawing a picture for each page.
  2. From the 10 written ideas, pick five different methods to try. Number the ideas #1 - #5, and gather the materials to try each one.

Day 2:

  1. Try method #1 all day. Capture as many creative ideas as possible. At the end of the day, store these ideas.

Day 3:

  1. Try method #2 all day. Capture as many creative ideas as possible. At the end of the day, store these ideas.

Day 4:

  1. Try method #3 all day. Capture as many creative ideas as possible. At the end of the day, store these ideas.

Day 5:

  1. Try method #4 all day. Capture as many creative ideas as possible. At the end of the day, store these ideas.

Day 6:

  1. Try method #5 all day. Capture as many creative ideas as possible. At the end of the day, store these ideas.

Day 7:

  1. Look back at five days of captured ideas.
  2. Get together with a friend or an artistic mentor and share the collected ideas. Talk about what worked and what didn't. Consider these questions:
    • Were you able to record all of the ideas that you wanted to?
    • When you looked back at the ideas after a few days, did you fully recall why you had thought this worthy of capturing?
    • What method was the best for you to capture interesting ideas from ordinary situations?

Additional Tips

Start planning how to capture ideas for your next project.

Links to Creativity

Deliberate practice that involves regular and creative capturing of ideas is beneficial for awareness and expertise. While this routine creativity could end up being the most significant effect for many children, this activity addresses another important debate in creativity research: domain-specificity or -generality. Trying so many different methods to capture ideas could help children identify which medium is their favorite, which could lead to their development of a single, domain-specific creativity and expertise. However, exposure to so many media provides participants with opportunities to see the commonalities across media and help them develop a more generalized practice of creativity—one that could apply to any domain or medium.

Supporting research includes:

Baer, J. (1998). The case for domain specificity of creativity. Creativity Research Journal11(2), 173-177.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 313-338). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press

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.

Mumford, M. D. (2003). Where have we been, where are we going? Taking stock in creativity research. Creativity Research Journal15(2-3), 107-120.

Plucker, J. A. (1998). Beware of simple conclusions: The case for the content generality of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 11, 179-182

Plucker, J. A., & Renzulli, J. S. (1999). Psychometric approaches to the study of human creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 35-66). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Simonton, D. K. (2000). Creative development as acquired expertise: Theoretical issues and an empirical test. Developmental Review20(2), 283-318.

Tharp, Twyla (2003). The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life. New York, Simon and Schuster.

Contributor

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.

Seven Day Capture Challenge

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