Jul 4, 2015

Sparks of Genius Chapters 3 and 4 Lesson Plan


Explain the challenge


Student worksheet:

Activity 1:

Students choose a lemon from the bag, give each a recording sheet.
‘Notice everything unusual and out-of-the-ordinary about this lemon!’
Remind them to use all their senses - ‘identify it by touch’, ‘describe its texture’, ‘detail it’s smell’.
Remind them to sketch
Do not make any marks on your lemon

Activity 2:

Take back the lemons, add a few extra into the bowl, disperse them around the room and explain that they now have to find their own lemon, using their recorded observations.
Then, have them exchange their descriptions to their neighbor and have the neighbor find their lemon.

Observation from Sparks

So all knowledge begins with observation! The Root-Bernsteins call it a ‘primary imaginative skill’, useful in all walks of life. It can be achieved by looking with a purpose, listening carefully, mindfully thinking about how an object smells and feels. According to Van Gogh, it is a vital skill for an artist, ‘To see in such a way that we can reproduce at will what we see’.

Root-Bernstein tell us it is an acquired skill and that the accurate recording of what has been seen is a further challenge. Can we accurately describe, and then record down, what we have seen?

What have you discovered about your observational skills? Did you observe with all your senses, by sight, by smell, by touch, by texture, by sound, by how it rolled, by taste?

Did the observations you made transfer to what you wrote down?

What did you use to find your lemon? Did you refer to your written observations or did you look for it from what you remembered about it?

How did you record your observations? Did you use the written words and sketch, or just your memory?

Activity 3

Pass out some paper to draw the flag on- 3 mins
Then check the accuracy of your flag
How well did you do?
Do you see your flag everyday and not actually ‘see’ it?
note: you could delete the first 3 minutes of this Ted talk if necessary.
play to around 16 minutes.
Write down 5-10 important, meaningful things in your life.
Include a major event in your life?
Include milestones in your life?
Include great achievements of your life?
Now give those to a partner
You will design your partner's flag. Take their words and turn them into images to create their flag.
Design a flag that has content that is meaningful for your partner
Tell your partner what each component of the flag you created represents
Switch, do the same.
Imaging like observing needs to be cultivated in all five senses.