Purpose: What kind of thinking
does this routine encourage?
This routine fosters creative thinking. It helps explore “hidden”
options in a decision making situation. Often people don’t
make good decisions because they miss the hidden options. It is
also relevant to understanding. It helps in building an understanding
of decision-making situations even when you are not the real decision
Application: When and Where can
it be used?
Students can use it for personal decision making or you and students
can use it for classroom decision making. Also, you can use it with
students as a way of exploring and understanding important decisions
in the news or history or literature or science policy or medical
policy, etc. You can ask students to make the decision personal
by role playing, imagining that they were in the situation.
Launch: What are some tips for starting
and using this routine?
Emphasize that maybe there are good hidden options, maybe not –
we have to find out by looking. Put the ideas on the blackboard
or have students write them on Post-its and stick them up. Use an
explosion-like diagram with radiating lines instead of a list if
you want to emphasize the spirit, but a list is okay too.
Remember, crazy ideas are okay – they are
just part of the mix and they may lead to something else by piggybacking.
In many classroom situations the point is to use
creative thinking to understand the situation better, as in step
3. You don’t need a final decision. You can decide whether
it’s a good idea to go on to another routine for choosing
among the options. Or you can just take a quick vote on some of
the likely options. If you want, you can do this before step 3,
to give students a little more to discuss in step 3.