One of the final projects that my students complete in their Computer II class is a magazine cover created in Photoshop. They must come up with their own magazine name and add all the elements that magazine covers need from images, to attention grabbing shapes/fonts to dates, cost, and mailing address labels. It is amazing what they are able to create! Some create "spin-offs" from actual magazines and match fonts and styles, while others are totally "out-of-the-box" with very original designs. Either way - there are projects that really showcase their imagination!
I like to have them change the ending to their stories. This gets them thinking and they do well with this in groups. When the groups are finished, we get together to discuss the "new" endings and how they would affect the original story. One thing I would like to do with this in the future is to act out the endings and get a feel for the book theater style.
ist2_3191515-globe-set-with-map-series.jpgTRAVEL GEOGRAPHY! My teaching degree is in Social Studies teaching with a concentration in Geography - I get entirely too excited about Geography - but have a exciting way to teach a middle school Geography class. My students would become world travelers. I would have them fill out the paper work for a passport - or a mock one. Then make each of them their own passport book. They would then draw a few countries to go visit, as well as get to choose a few of their own choice. Having them draw a few - helps get everyone not going to the same countries. Each country would then need to be researched for if they need a visa, research things to do in the country, all the pertinent Geography type questions would need to be answered. A report would be written about the country and the cost of visiting the country. Then a mock journal could be written on the different things that were done while in the country. A report would be given to the class and the student would receive a stamp in their passport for that country. There would be certain requirements for grading purposes, but the students could be free to use their imagination in many creative ways. - Sharon Jones
One activity that I like to use in my Spanish class is when we are covering tenses or an interesting topic comes up I like them to use their imagination and come up with stories. I give them the freedom to write about whatever they want to whether it be fiction or non-fiction as long as they use the tense that we are covering. Some of the students like to write is a poetic form and I think that is great as well. I enjoy reading all of the stories that I collect from them because some of them use their imagination to a great extent.-Brent Jung
I probably don't use enough imagination in my teaching of Chemistry. We tend to find ourselves so driven by standards and getting through the curriculum that we forget this valuable part. I love Einstein's quote, "Imagination is more important than knowledge itself." I teach Chemistry in the Community, which is unique as it is applied chemistry. To closeout the year we do a small unit on Fireworks. We tie in several concepts that we have covered - physical properties of elements, combustion reactions etc. We cover the elctromagnetic color spectrum, do flame tests on several compounds,watch a great video from NOVA on Fireworks, and then we finish with a fun activitywhere the students create their own personal fireworks display and then we show them at the end of the class. The website is:
On the first day of my 7th grade reading class I do an activity designed to stimulate imagination and visualization. I read a fantasy story called "The Pulgar." Lights are dimmed, and kids close their eyes so they can tune into the language of the story and set their imaginations rolling. The story is very descriptive so students can create pictures in their heads as the story unfolds. Next, I break the students into their 3-4 person groups and tell them to create a Pulgar based on what they pictured in their heads as they listened. However, they must do it with no talking. Each group has an identicle bag of stuff they could use to make it. The problem is ... how do you create one Pulgar when everyone pictured it differently and you can't talk? The students learn how to communicate, compromise, and have a finished product. Since the students will remain in their group for the entire quarter, it's a wonderful way for them to begin to bond and the first step in being able to work in their new group.
A lesson that I did for geometry that encouraged imagination was when I had students create shapes on a piece of construction paper. They were told only to make a closed shape (I explained that the "ends" must touch). Some students simply drew a square or triangle, while others drew shapes that didn't fit any of the traditional shapes we had studied. I hoped this got them to think outside of the typical shapes we teach them so that they realize shapes can be unlimited. Then as a class we sorted the shapes. Students decided how to sort them. One way we sorted was by number of sides, another way was round sides and straight sides. The funniest way they decided to sort them was shapes that exist and shapes that don't exist! :):) Even though they were holding the shape in their hand it "didn't exist" because it wasn't a shape we studied in school. Too funny! Kindergarteners are a hoot!! ~~ By Susan Koertner ~~
I really like the book The Right to Write -An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life by Julia Cameron. It's full of ideas and writing prompts to inspire imagination in student, teen, and adult writers. One of the really fun chapters is "Bad Writing" in which you are encouraged to write as dramatically and over the top as possible!
I have a couple things:
1. A quote that I thought related to what we have been discussing. “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” Jaimie Paolinetti

2. A book that I recently read with my daughter called ‘Moon Plane.” Gives you the freedom to do a lot of imagination. Mostly the feeling of being able to fly. Matti K
I think one of the best ways that middle school kids enjoy looking at other peoples creativity and imagination is through you-tube video's. When I teach y=mx+b in Pre-Algebra, I show them the following video ( ) . Then I put them in groups of three or four and tell them to come up with their own song, rap, poster, PowerPoint, puppet show, video, or skit to present y=mx+b to the remainder of the class. At first they fight me because they have trouble getting the creative juices flowing, but it has been fun.- Stacy Krumpus
I enjoy the concepts in the book, Writing on Both Sides of the Brain, by Henriette Anne Klauser. She uses various strategies to incorporate creativity and imagination into the classroom. It also shows you that your classroom is made up of many unique individuals that do not learn the same way. This book is written in the same format that Henriette gave conferences on in previous years.

When I taught middle school science, one of our units was the animal kingdom and their adaptations. One fun activity that really had the students use their imagination was to design a bird and focusing on the feet, beak and feathers that they would need to survive. Students enjoyed the creativity of this assignment and they learned alot about the differences between birds and why birds had different beaks, feathers, etc.... I came across this website which had many lesson plans similar to the ones I used to use, particulary the one on designing a bird with a specific beak and it had more activities and lesson plans. Frances Miller

When I was in HS my choir teacher used to have us do an imagination technique to help us relax to reach to high notes, I do it with my students when we have a difficult test to take. First I have my students lay on the ground and close their eyes. I calmly ask them to picture themselves on a sandy beach with the sun beaming down on them and the ocean gently rolling in. Then they are to listen to the sound of the ocean waves coming in, they are soft, gentle, warm waves and there is a slight breeze blowing through the palm trees. They are then to smell the warmth of the sunscreen, the salty water, and the beach. As they start picturing these and smelling them you can see their bodies start to relax. Then I start with the warm water rolling in it gently comes up to touch their toes and as it goes back out, it takes all of the tension in their toes away with it. I do this until it comes in over thier heads everytime reminding them that it is taking away all of the tension in that body part. When we have made it over our heads, I let them lay there and bask in their suns for a minute before we start our tests. This a great way for them to deal with stress in any situation personal and professional, then they seem more open to ideas and able to concentrate on the tasks at hand. - Jamie Mutter
I enjoy reading Frog and Toad: The Lost Button with the students. After we have read the story, I have the students imagine that they were looking for a special button. I ask them color, shape, size, how many holes, ect. It is a good activity for using their imagination to create a special button of their own.

There are two great picture books that teach kids the importance (and the fun!) of using their imaginations: Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook and Miss Smith Reads Again by Michael Garland. Miss Smith is such an awesome reader and storyteller that the kids are literally thrown into the book. Great reads!
In Junior English, one thing we like to do is take the plot and characters of the Great Gatsby and re-imagine the story as it would be told in this time instead of the 1920's. How would a person today make a fortune quickly (that would be illegal). Where would these people live to symbolize great wealth in the US now? How would these people demonstrate their great fortunes to others? What other elements of the story would need to change to make it contemporary?
Mary Helen
One fun activity that I have done with my students is to use shaving cream on their desks to learn their spelling words. They really have fun being "gooey", but the tactile element of having to write with their fingers seems to reinforce the words in a differnt way, than simply writing them on paper.
An activity that my students enjoy is Reader's Theater. We do this for different social studies units to better understand ancient civilizations. It helps the students put themselves in that time period and it gets them interested.
A good old coloring book works well to inspire creativity and imagination. Now, I don't spend class time allowing students to color before they try to write; but doodling, filling in the spaces of letters, and other mundane things that require us to form patterns, whether planned or not, spark our creative juices. This is a strategy for me. This strategy (along with many others) is backed up in the book Creative Thinking by Michael LeBeouf.
Developing imagination is a constant in my classroom. My students are not
exposed to much except their home place. They rarely leave home; they do
not have television, have never been to a theatre, a movie house, a public
library (some have), museums, malls or share experiences common to most

I do a lot of reading, and have students do a lot of reading. We have
discussions to further develop schema. Of course actual experiences would
be better, but this is often not possible. I have students act out what
they read, draw what they see in their mind's eye as I'm reading, or after
they have read. We do what we can. We share a lot and use that to expand
everyone's imaginations. I just had a poetry unit. The students memorized
their poems, drew pictures, and brought in props to make their rendition
more interesting for the audience and the telling. Building imagination is a
must that has to go along with all we do.
I have my students do a lot of role playing or acting out the character as we read. This helps my younger students begin to visualize in their heads. They get excited about the reading process, and begin to describe with words what they are seeing in their heads.
I have a fun activity that I do with my Geography class that helps them to use their imagination to learn about different cultures. I hand out National Geographic photos of different cultures around the world, typically the pictures show a family and all of their possessions. The students then use their imagination to answer different questions about the family. What do they use for transportation? How does the family make a living? How do they communicate with others? What do they eat? The students do a great job of imagining their families and some of the answers are quite interesting. - Darren Paulsen