By the end of the lesson, pupils should be able to:

  • Understand the various tools to support idea generation.
  • Use the various tools to support idea generation.

Class Length

40 minutes

Year Groups

All ages


Computer, projector, printed handouts, pencils.

Download Presentation

Lesson Structure

  • To explore a variety of tools to support and assist creative idea generation and development.
  • To capture our initial ideas, and diverge (push our ideas further) our thinking with the various tools.
  • To reflect on our problem and make choices, converging toward the best idea.

Lesson Activities

Activity 1: Sixteen Squares

The students must attempt to devise up to 16 possible design solutions for a given design task. Push the students to generate as many ideas as possible, and not to get stuck on one idea (fixation).

Activity 2: Considering all Factors – Train of thought

Students must ensure they have thought of every possible idea to solve the problem by using each letter of the alphabet.

Activity 3: Likes/Dislikes

Students must think of all the things they like about something, and added to improve something else. Equally students must think of things they dislike, and how they could be removed to improve or make something better.

Activity 4: Ask all the right questions

The students must answer key questions using the 5W + H prompts to generate ideas to solve the problem.

Activity 5: Brain-Sketching

In a team/group, students all sketch a generated idea in one quarter of the handout. Then students will rotate their idea sheet to another member of their team/group. Students generate an idea by piggy-backing off their team members’ idea.

Activity 6: Idea Grid

Morphological analysis: By identifying the key requirements of the problem, and variations of the requirements, a range of ideas can be morphed. The requirements’ variations allow the student to transform their ideas easily.

Activity 7: Random Inputs

By incorporating a random input into their idea, or joining random inputs together to generate.