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Awaken Creativity—and Students

To innovate and problem solve, students need to exercise their creative muscles as much as their critical ones. 

You don’t need to teach art or theater to inspire creative thinking. You just need to provide students opportunities to think differently, even if it’s in short bursts. 

Today’s activity introduces a fun way to apply a topic or concept in a brand new context. 

Featured Activity: Creative Uses of Square-Pegging

Use these challenges to inspire creativity and engage students.

Download the PDF or copy the Google Doc.

Revising to Elaborate Ideas Activity

Teaching Support

Consider this support as you introduce the concept and activities.


Grades 4–12

Learning Objectives

By completing this lesson, students will . . .

  • Exercise creative thinking. 
  • Apply existing knowledge of a topic or concept to a new context. 
  • Innovate original solutions to puzzling problems. 
  • Work creatively with others. 
  • Engage in group problem solving. 

Teaching Tips

  • Show this clip from Apollo 13 as a fun way to introduce square-pegging. 
  • Utilize partners and small groups, as each activity lends itself well to teamwork and collaboration. 
  • Start out a class with a square-peg brainteaser to quickly engage students in active learning. 
  • Energize a sleepy classroom with a square-peg activity.  
  • Create your own square-peg questions to show how academic concepts apply to real-world situations. 
  • Have students challenge each other with their own square-peg scenarios. 
  • For online or hybrid classrooms, use breakout rooms to allow small groups to work through answers.

Teacher Support:

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Standards Correlations:

The State Standards provide a way to evaluate your students' performance.