Thursday, November 7, 2013

Speech Therapy Task Ideas for Divergent Thinking

Here's my next cognitive area in this series of posts adapted from my old student Janelle Barret's project. This blog post was an exercise in divergent thinking! Ha ha ha. It took me a lot of work, so I hope you enjoy!

Not all of these tasks are as strictly divergent thinking as others, but for lack of a more specific category (or post) I am going to lump them in together. Don't forget to comment and add your own ideas!


What exactly is Divergent Thinking or DT 
(aka: lateral thinking)?
How is it different from Convergent Thinking 
(aka: linear thinking)??

With many questions and problem-solving scenarios in life, we start with DT to create ideas, options, possible solutions, more questions, more ways of LOOKING at or interpreting the problem or question... 
Then we use Convergent Thinking to make the actual choices and decisions.  DT is not the same as Creative Thinking, but is required for creative thinking!  (Convergent thinking typically involves situations in which there is ONE right answer or one right way of doing things.  Learning facts, and following directions also fall under the umbrella of convergent thinking.)
Do you have a hard time remembering which is which?  With divergent thinking you take a question and DIVERGE into many thoughts and possibilities.  Or a good memory association is that you have to "dive in" and think of various possibilities.  
Linear thinkingor convergent thinking, is about learning facts, follow instructions, and solving problems with one right answer.
Divergent thinking is generating unique solutions and seeing various possibilities in response to questions and problems.
- See more at: http://imaginationsoup.net/2012/01/quiz-yourself-examples-of-divergent-and-convergent-thinking/#sthash.rSdTZJ2c.dpuf

Linear thinkingor convergent thinking, is about learning facts, follow instructions, and solving problems with one right answer.
Divergent thinking is generating unique solutions and seeing various possibilities in response to questions and problems.
- See more at: http://imaginationsoup.net/2012/01/quiz-yourself-examples-of-divergent-and-convergent-thinking/#sthash.rSdTZJ2c.dpuf


Divergent Thinking Task Ideas:

  • List of 4-5 words: which does not belong? (i.e., dog, cat, bowl, bird, fish) 
  •  Catch phrase: describe a word without saying it 
  •  Multiple definitions of a word, WALC 
  • Apps and Games:
    • Tetris
    • Jumbline 2 (very addictive!) :)
    • Boggle 
    • Goo
  • Multiple/non-traditional uses of an object 
    • I encourage extreme creativity here - a paperclip can be twisted into different shapes and each of those shapes can do various things.  A paperclip could also be enormous and become an artistic sculpture in the park, or a heavy anchor for a ship)
  • Sorting task 
  • Name several words in a given category, or do Brainstorming tasks
    • WALC 2
    •  Can get really abstract and creative for patients who need more difficulty tasks (my hubby, Matt came up with all of the following!  Nice job, Babe.)
      • Ways to wake someone up in the morning)
      • Name a cooking ingredient and name all the dishes that can be made with it
      • Name a body part or muscle and name all the uses you can think of
      • Name a significant number and have them name all the ways that make that number significant (e.g., 3.  Three's a crowd, three's company, a trilogy, Goldilocks and the 3 bears, the 3 little pigs, 3 strikes and your out...etc.) (10 ones make $10 10 tens make $100, based 10 numbering system, 10 fing4rs, then toes, count down from 10 when a rocket is launching, etc.) 42: 4/2 = 2 Jackie Robinson's number, both even numbers)
      • Name a color and have the patient tell you as many things of that color as they can think of.
      • Give the patient a word and ask them to think of all the songs with that word in it (e.g., love, baby, tonight, stars, heart, sleep, can't).
      • Etc! 
  • Categorize a list of words into sub-groups
  • Take a list of things that are all related to each other in different ways.  Have the patient organize that list in as many types of organizational ways they can thing of
    • E.g., take a list of flowers and have them organize it by:  color, look of the petals, alphabetically, number of letters, vowels, etc, etc,
  • Mind mapping
  • Journaling
  • List-making
  • Take a word
    • Give the definition
    • Homonym
    • Synonym
    • Antonym
    • Examples
  • Break down a word or idea
    • What is it for?
    • How valuable is it/
    • How is it used?
    • When is it used?
    • Who would use it?
    • Where?
    • Etc.
  • Breaking down a task
    • Simple
      • Planning a trip
    • Planning a meal
    • Plannning a party 
    • How to catch a fish
    • Make a paper airplane
    • Do your makeup
    • Tie a tie or tie your shoes
    •  More Complex 
      • How to write an essay (and I'll have them actually write one, especially if they areplanning to return to school)
      • How to make a Powerpoint (if they are familiar witht his.  Again, If they do this for work, I will have them actually prepare one)
      • For that matter (Lawyer- prepare a case or argument, etc.)
Phew!  That post took me forever.  Maybe I needed the Divergent Thinking therapy?  :)  Now don't forget- I want your ideas!!  Comment below- what do you do to target DT with your patients?

2 comments:

  1. Thank you Kristin, this is great! I am a newish SLP (got my CCCs today!) and I know I need to bulk up on targeting divergent thinking. Your explanation and examples are great, I appreciate the included resources and especially the examples of activities. I will start brainstorming to contribute some

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  2. Love this post - lots of great ideas. Thanks!

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