Teacher
Prep Time
15 minutes
Grouping
 individuals
 small groups
 large groups
Special Materials


BACKGROUND
There is a perception that studying mathematics does not provide for creative
thinking. Students sometimes find generic numbers and variables confusing and
unexciting. This activity is designed to interject creativity into mathematics to
make it fun to learn.
ACTIVITY
Introduce creative thinking relative to math to the class. This can include giving
meaning to math terms and assigning fun scenarios to equations. For example, a
fraction can be the number of bites required to eat a candy bar; or the problem,
When does 1510 = 1? can be answered in a number of ways, e.g., when a concert
ticket costs $15 and you only have $10, it will take one household chore to earn
the remaining $5. Ask the class to brainstorm other examples of using creativity
to teach math.
EXERCISE 1
Ask each group to create a math quiz of 10 or more questions that require creative
thinking. For example, a question might be, When does 1 + 1 = 24? One answer
could be, When 1 is a dozen and 24 is eggs. Have the groups swap quizzes and
answer each other's questions. Have each group select the two most creative
questions on the test they are taking. Compile these on a master quiz and display
it in the school for the other classes to see.
EXERCISE 2
Divide the class into groups of 3 or 4 students. Assign each group a basic math
lesson and have them develop two different ways of creatively teaching the
lesson. Have the groups present their lessons to the class and discuss the results.
EXERCISE 3
Discuss creative writing with the class and how it affects our lives. Present
examples of television scripts, novels, and screenplays. Then ask each student to
apply their creative writing skills by writing a children's story that incorporates
one or more math lessons. They may include illustrations. Compile the stories in a
binder and present it to a class of young students. Include an evaluation form for
that class's teacher to record which stories were most popular and the lessons that
were learned by that class.
EVALUATION
1. 
Poll students for their opinions on the effectiveness of incorporating creativity
into math. Discuss the outcome with the class.

2. 
Create a questionnaire to determine what students think about math and why.
Ask the class to fill it out before this activity and again after completing these
exercises. Present the results to the class.

3. 
Hold a class discussion about the methods, styles, and/or themes that were
most successful in making math fun while teaching lessons. Did heightened
interest translate into easier comprehension? Was this the same for the
younger students?


