Method Translate it!
Activity to promote thinking out of the box. Converting things from one form into another can guide thoughts in totally new and exciting directions. One idea leads to another.

Purposefully engaging the imagination by translating thoughts, ideas and problems into different forms or languages can lead to new discoveries, understandings and ways of communicating. (Ingledew, 2016)[i]

Suitable for small and large groups.

Aim To promote creative thinking.
Target group Students of all courses and all study fields.
Intended learning outcomes
  • improved problem solving skills
  • enhanced creative thinking
Students translate the following:

  • words into drawings – triangle, hot, cold, ice, slower, faster.
  • words into typography – lazy, happy, loud, soft.
  • musical forms into images – jazz, rap, reggae, punk, classical music.

Communicate with friend the following cities through mime – New York, Paris, Sydney, Cairo, London.

Translate a series of words and phrases into rebuses.

Preparation Not necessary.
Resources and equipment Not necessary.
Success factors
Advantages Encourages student participation.

Problem solving provides a challenge for students, and they can gain a great deal of satisfaction from discovering new knowledge for themselves.

Disadvantages It is easy for talkative students to dominate.
Unless students understand why they are attempting to solve a particular problem, they may not try.
Additional information On this Big Think Edge site you will find examples of innovation activities for teams.

[i] Ingledew, J. (2016). How to have great ideas. A guide to creative thinking. Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Ingledew, J. (2016). Try translating. How to have great ideas. Aguide to creative thinking. (p.128-129)


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