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Prompts to Pump Up Creativity and Imagination

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Einstein imagination quote

Check out a few prompts about creativity and imagination. Use these "sparks" to trigger that "self-amusement park" of the mind to see where they all lead. As you read the prompts, use brainstorming, "picture-storming" (visualize one image-after-another), and "word-storming" (crank out one word-after-another) to get into my original statements, "equations," and quoatations about two vital learning and life processes/skills. Apply the storming processes to conjure up thoughts, ideas, meanings, feelings, mind-pictures (images), words, and connected real-life experiences in your head. Enjoy some fun and creative self-entertainment with these "pumper-uppers," first, with yourself to see what they produce, and then use with your students to motivate discussion.






5. "A creative imagination means 'staying alive, staying alive, staying alive...'"

6. "Creativity: making up something from nothing."

7. "Creating means letting go..."

8. "Creativity is all detours, side-journeys, and digressions."

9. "Creating is really simple: just make up stuff and have fun with your thoughts and feelings.

10. "Curious, George? Go Creative..."

11. "The courage to create...is the courage to be..." 


1. "Are you your imagination?"

2. "Is your imagination real?"

3. "Are there limits to the imagination? Answer: Think about the limits of outer space..."

4. "To live in reality you need an imagination."

5. "Imagine that: Put an idea in your imagination. Wait for a picture to appear: so where are you now and how do you feel?"

6. "Think in mental image pictures and you will see 'all the pretty horses.'"

7. "Here's a brush: now paint a picture inside your imagination and describe it in words."

8. "Draw and dream inside your imagination."

9. "Did you ever see golden apples in your mind? Now you have..."

10. "Can you visualize the 'tree' I'm looking at right now?"

11. "Drop a dove inside your imagination and see where it goes...Can you see it flying around in your head?"

12. "Put butter on your corn, add a little salt, and chomp away, baby: How good was that?"

13. "Absurd ideas live in your imagination, so why not use them to start your story or poem?"

14. "Look up and watch the clouds floating by to imagine, daydream, and fantasize all day long."

15. "Get into this: The feeling of inner peace...and world peace..."

16. "Think about it: I imagine my heart: I see hearts, hearts, hearts..."

17. "Look with your imagination and see the world new everyday and everywhere."

18. "Visualize this: If you lived in an upside-down world, where would your head be at?"

19. "Your imagination lives in the past, present, and future: where is yours now? Prove it."

20. "Where do your ideas come from?"



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Jeffrey Pflaum has been an inner-city elementary school teacher in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, for thirty-four years (NYCDOE, retired in 2002). He worked as a creative writing, whole language, social studies, gifted/talented, physical education, and mentor teacher in grades K – 6 and special education. Pflaum coached middle school boys and girls basketball teams and one of his players became coach of the Pace University team. Tennis was also taught on the elementary school level to lower grade kids as part of the NY Junior Tennis League Program founded by Arthur Ashe.

Pflaum considers himself a teacher-developer-researcher experimentalist who created successful education projects in emotional intelligence, social and emotional learning, reading, writing, poetry, thinking, creativity, vocabulary expansion, concentration, and intra- and interpersonal communication skills. He has written articles for professional newspapers and publications about his curricula. Various programs appeared on web sites such as ERIC and CASEL/Collaborative for Academic and Social and Emotional Learning (“Experiences, Reflections, and Insights”).

One program was featured at the International National Council of Teachers of English at NYU as one of the best examples of English Language Arts in the NYC Public Schools, K – 12. His students’ poetry and prose have been published in college, writers’, gifted secondary, and children’s literary journals, magazines, newspapers, and by major commercial book publishers; read on public radio (Poetry-In-The-Morning, WNYE-FM, sponsored by the Teachers & Writers Collaborative/NYC); and, won honors and awards from PBS, Channel Thirteen/NYC. One student, Noel “Speedy” Mercado, became a top NYC disc jockey on WKTU-FM.

Pflaum published an inspirational book about adolescent reading lives titled MOTIVATING TEEN AND PRETEEN READERS: HOW TEACHERS AND PARENTS CAN LEAD THE WAY (Rowman & Littlefield Education). For book reviews, go to http://www.examiner.com/review/motivating-your-kids-to-read to see Kecia Burcham's response to the book, and also, The Teachers College Record for Karen Polk's insightful article. For Karen Polk's review (8/24/12), from the Teachers College Record, google "MOTIVATING TEEN AND PRETEEN READERS - Teachers College Record."

Go to www.JeffreyPflaum.com for more articles on "Contemplation Writing," Meditative Writing Ideas, Internet radio interviews, published student poetry, and newspaper articles about his book on motivating adolescent readers and Inner Cities Arts Project. His recent interviews on Contemplation Writing can be found at these "Pure Imagination" links: http://prn.fm/2012/07/14/pure-imagination-071312 and Pure Imagination - 07/13/12 | Progressive Radio Network. A second interview on "Connect With Julianna" (Toginet Radio Network) about "Contemplation" or "Music" Writing can be found at these links: http://bit.ly/iTFbk7 and http://bit.ly/t5FA0W; or, Connect with Creative Educator and Author, Jeffrey Pflaum.

Pflaum is currently a regular blogger on The BAM Radio Network's blog, ED Words, where posts about a plethora of his projects can be found at: www.bamradionetwork.com/edwords-blog/blogger/listings/jeffpaul. Also, he is a contributing writer for EDUCATION VIEWS at: www.educatnviews.org/author/jeffreypflaum/

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