TRIZ Textbooks:  CID Course for Children, 2-1G01
Introduction.  Acquaintance with Fantasy City. 

Topic 1.  Card Index - First Step Towards Creativity

Fantasy City:
Course of Creative Imagination Development (CID), 
2nd Grade, 1st Semester, Methodical Guide-Book
Natalia V. Rubina, 1999 [published in Russian]
English translation by Irina Dolina, April 2, 2001
Technical Editing by Toru Nakagawa, July 15, 2001
Posted in this "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" in English on Jul. 17, 2001 under the permission of the Author.
(C) N.V. Rubina, I. Dolina, and T. Nakagawa 2001

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Acquaintance with Fantasy City


     This is the first lesson after summer vacation…  The children have changed very much, “have grown a whole head taller”.  For many of them this was the time of interesting discoveries in themselves and in the surrounding world, new impressions, interesting meetings.  And of course, the children not once have found themselves in the situations, where it was necessary to solve a contradiction, to solve a creative problem.
     The CID course for the second grade is a trip to Fantasy City, where the experience a child acquired bit by bit will become the basis for mastering methods, getting the new fantastic ideas, solving the creative problems, carrying out small creative projects.

1.  Warming-up

     What games, that exercise attention, adroitness, and smartness, did you learned during summer?

2.  Home-work

     Last year we were the students at the Fairy Tales School.  The characters who helped us during our fairy adventures were together with us.  Remember them and draw each of them.
Who knows lots of interesting problems and can solve them?
Who can be both big and small, black and white, warm and cold?
Who can assemble and disassemble everything?

     In the last frame the children may make a picture of a character, whom they remembered and liked best (for example, one of those they had designed themselves) and write down what this character can do.

4.  Main topic

     The main topic of the whole course for the second grade is a city, where problems arise and have to be solved in the course of building cities.  Before we study the method of solving creative problems, we need to learn to change surrounding systems mentally, predict possible consequences of such changes, single out the causes of unfavorable consequences (i.e. which subsystems or properties of systems led to these consequences).  To learn how to reveal and solve arising contradictions is the aim of further studies on CID Course.

     At the first lesson we’ll look into a rather complicated creative problem and try to solve it, using the knowledge about systems, their properties and functions.  Solving this problem, the teacher should distinctly single out and define contradictions and ways of solving them.  This will allow us later to use this problem as an example of solving  the similar problems with the help of a certain method.

     Problems surround us, like the city, where we live.  In some cases the source of a problem may be very simple properties of the systems.  For example, this happened to the city walls that had surrounded our cities in old times.  It is obvious that the main aim of a city wall is to protect as many people as possible.  Let’s think about the properties of a city wall:  the height, the length, the width, the shape.  Each property brings up the problems that are necessary to be solved.

     Height:  The height of a wall should be large to protect people and should be small in order to be built easier.
     Solution is to make a wall toothed.  Besides in some places the towers are erected to be higher than the level of the wall.

     Width:  A wall must be thick, to make it more solid, and thin, not to occupy too much city’s territory.
     Solution: the city walls are made thick and empty inside to use the space between the walls.

     Length and shape:   The length of a city wall must be as long as possible to cover a large territory and as short as possible to be built quicker.
     Solution might be different.  It’s possible for example, to add to the city wall the watch-towers; it’s possible to build if necessary a new wall around a single city wall.

     Different shapes of the city walls may be used.  Rectangular shape was used, for example, in Ancient Rome.  This wall was easy to build up with the city growth.  A round wall is more advantageous from the territorial point of view.  Such a shape was used in ancient Moscow, in the course of time a few rows of city walls were added.  The circle shape of these walls has defined the schemes of Moscow roads and subway.

      The length of the wall line is 18 cm [in the both figures].

      Count the small squares in the walls.  Which territory is bigger: in the square or in the circle?

5.  Psycho-technical and developing games
     (See. “Card index for CID lessons for the second grade”  Game series for working with text information.)

7.  Sum up

     One of the major aims of CID course for the second grade and following grades is to teach them to work with the Card index.
     Home work: find and write out of the books about Petrozavodsk or from city newspapers, examples of the interesting solutions referring to the city architecture, singling out used or transformed properties, as in the problem about “a city wall”.

Topic 1.  Card Index - 
First Step Towards Creativity
     How to organize creative, research activity of the elementary school students is not an easy task.  One of the most available and productive ways of organizing such an activity may be arranging the Card index materials in various fields.  The importance of the card index, the steps in the research work were examined by M. S. Rubin in his article “Personal card index is the basis of creativity”.  This article is a result of a thorough research of the experience in the card index arranging, the deep analysis of card index development.  In the commentaries to this theme, the fragments of this article are presented:

     “Solving research and engineer problems, educating and involving into creativity, work of the artists, composers, writers need the card index of this or that kind.  Here, for example, are the quotation from K. G. Paustovsky’s “The Gold Rose”: “Every minute, every casual word or glance, every deep or funny thought, every unnoticed movement of a human heart like a poplar’s fluffs or a star’s light in a night puddle are the grains of the gold dust.  We, the writers, for decades have extracted these millions of grains, collected them, turned into a fusion and then made from this fusion our own “gold rose” – a story, a novel or a poem.”   This thought of Paustovski about the writers’ work may be referred to any kind of creativity.  We’ll be convinced of this lots of times”.

      The way to creativity passes through arranging personal Card Index system or collections with a unique idea, new, amazing topic.  This way is simple and available.  That is why it seems to many people that it can not lead to strong results.  The real cause of refusing to have personal index system is the fear of a risk: what if nothining come out of it!"
                   M. S. Rubin: “Personal Card Index Is a Basis Of Creativity”.

1.  Warming up

     Game on developing attention and memory.  (“Card Index to CID lessons for the second grade”)

2.  Home -work

Examples of interesting solutions in the city architecture.
3.  Introduction to the lesson
Can you tell whether a person says the truth or lies?
(“Card Index to CID lessons for the second grade”, section “Gestures”.)
     Some unusual questions are for the beginning of the lesson.  You have to agree that this creative problem is quite often arises.  First try to imagine a situation, where it is necessary to solve such a problem and offer a solution.

     To answer this question, let’s play the game:
      One of the students goes out  and waits to be called.
     Three students come to the blackboard.  Let’s decide that one of them will tell the lies, the rest of them will answer to the questions correctly.  The student standing outside the door has to ask his fellow students a few questions and to understand, who is telling lies.

     During the discussion of the results of this game, try together with the children to find out what in particular has helped to understand who was telling lies.  What else can be learned about a person observing his facial expression and gestures. V. Dragunsky’s story “Secrets become revealed” presents an interesting and funny situation, where an ability to “read” gestures and facial expressions helps people to find out what has happened.
4.  Main topic
     Activity 1.  With the help of brief descriptions of the appearance and behavior of the popular characters of the children’s books, one should guess right the novel and the character.
     How do these accurate descriptions appear?
     Discuss with the children how important it is to be observant.  Suggest to give descriptions of the behavior, habits, appearance of their pets or stray animals. (It can be memorable, interesting episodes from the books).
     “…We made a card index: three cards for each animal – pink, blue and white.  The white card is a “form”, stating where a species was purchased, in what condition it entered the Zoo and so on.  The pink card is a medical history, including all information about an animal’s health and treatment.  The blue card is the information about behavior.  It seems that the blue one is the most important card, because it contains records of breeding games, pregnancies, territorial marks and lots of other information…

 …Though the tapirs have been bred in the Zoo for a long time, three factors that we have discovered by experiment were not mentioned in any of the books from my home library.  First - that it is nearly impossible to determine the term of pregnancy: a foetus can not be felt.  Second, the milk appears only after delivery.  And third, the mom feeds the baby lying.  Besides, a good natured Clodette allowed us to take milk samples and send them to be analyzed.  If in the future any female tapir in our Zoo somehow has no milk, we’ll know exactly what mixture to make.  All the data was written on the cards and published in our special report.”
     Jerald Darrell: "Catch A Colobus For Me", Moscow, “Mir”, 1985, pp.29-32.

     Maybe you have some experiences of your own when purposeful collection of information (card index) helped in the work, in the search of answers to the difficult questions.

     “Card 5.  From N. J. Murashkowski’s card index.  (Elgava, Latvia.)
     “Crocodiles have many peculiarities.  For example, they don’t have saliva glands in the mouth, urinary bladder, male species have many stones in the stomach.  Why are they there?  It is presumed that the stones make it easier to swim, making an animal more balanced”.
                               "Young Naturalist”, No.1, 1990, p.37.
     From such examples Kolya Murashkowski elaborates school problems and even conducts seminar with adults.  When he was a kid, he decided to become a doctor and began to collect card index materials on biology.  By the time he had a card about a crocodile he was already six years old.

     Collecting personal card index is a convenient and effective form of  involving children in creativity, to be more precise, in one of the most important stages of creative activity.

     For some time it even seemed to me that a personal card index, like a magic wand, could make a creator out of a child.  It is true: a personal card index is a direct way to research, creative activities.  One of the difficulties presents itself in the fact that it should be managed on a regular basis.  The biggest difficulty is that the wish to have a card index must come from the child.  An adult’s pushing is not helpful.

     I have no universal recipes how to attract the kids to conduct personal card index, but I can share my own experience with you:

1.  A teacher or a parent must HIMSELF  conduct  his personal card index of a creative type.  And a child should see it.

2.  The topic of the card index should be based on inner motivation of a child (a wish to become a doctor, an interest  in conjuring, UFO and so on).

3.  At the first stage the most important thing for a child is mastering the technical skills of card index conducting: to cut, to glue, to fill in the cards…  From the early childhood a child can be taught to use a computer for preparing the cards.

4.  Don’t be surprised and upset when “a deep motivation” of your child will soon vanish.  Look for a new motivation, new topic, new way of attracting your child to the card index activity.

5. Under no circumstances press the child to conduct an index card.  The price will be his disgust towards this activity.

6.  There are many motivations, that stimulate the child to conduct the card index: copying the behavior of the adults, encouraging from them (especially the relatives), interest to a new activity, using the children’s card index by the adults, competition, using card index in any activity, using card index in games, making toys, tricks or just useful and necessary objects.  The child will always look for the usefulness of the card index not in the far future but now or at least tomorrow.

     Sometimes the teachers at my seminars are surprised : what is new here?  Everybody knows about the importance and usefulness of the card index.  This is true.  Two more peculiarities of the creative card index should be added to the list:
  • about a card index of IDEAS, not only information;
  • work on a card index should stimulate NEW IDEAS.
  •      One of the main differences of a creative card index is its uniqueness.  I am not against collecting butterflies, labels, stamps, beer cans or bubble gum insets.  But now we are talking with you about a different thing - about a creativity.  I would like the readers to see clearly the difference between a creative card index and ordinary collecting.”
                      M.S. Rubin “Personal Card Index Is A Basis Of Creativity”.

         This year the card index will not only help you to understand new methods of designing original ideas, but also with its help to create your own ideas, your own fantastic stories, your own problems.
         For conducting the card index it is convenient to use the card prepared beforehand.  Today we  learn how to fill the cards.
         In class we often solve the problems of “Yes-No” game.  Many of you tell them to your friends, parents, brothers and sisters.  But at every lesson we have more and more problems, and it is becoming more difficult to remember them all and not to mix anything up.  The cards located on the last pages of your workbooks will help you.  Besides, each lesson you will get an assignment to work with them.  Filling 1-2 cards for every lesson you will collect interesting material by the end of the year.

    Pattern of a Card 
    1.  Author:
    2.  Topic:                  Yes-No.
    3.  Card content:   A man entered the forest and disappeared. 
                                           Where is he?
    4.  Supplements (an answer to the problem, a clue to the trick, a picture  of a new object , etc.):
                                          A wood cutter has fallen the forest.
    5.  Source of information:         M.S. Rubin’s  Card Index.

         Choose a topic for your card index.  It might be:

    5.  Psycho-technical and developing games
        ”Card Index to the CID lessons for the second grade”, game series for working with the text information.

    7.  Sum up

         “Jules Verne has never patented inventions, but he described them in his novels.  To make technical and scientific innovations, Jules Verne, through all his life from his youth, has kept an eye on innovations in science and technology, wrote out information from the books, magazines, newspapers.  His biographers state that in the great novelist’s card index there were 20 thousand cards with data on technology, geography, physics, astronomy…
         Many modern inventors enrich their personal card index on a regular basis.  The foundation of these card index is usually the information on applying of physical, chemical and geometrical effects, the descriptions of strong means and inventory crafts, information about new things and new materials.  To sum up – everything that can be helpful in solving problems.
         The card index is being filled step by step and at a certain point begins to help in searching for new ideas.  Sometimes, an old card helps to solve a difficult problem easily.
         In my card index I have a piece of paper with an extraction from the book, that is exactly 100 years old.  The title of this book is as follows:

     Science for  benefit and  wealth of the man.
     Three volumes with lots of drawings.
     Compiled by 
    Danilovich and Kustarevsky
    Edited by A. Slavsky
    Publishing Store House
     At S. I. Leuhina’s , a bookseller.
         Here is an extract from this book:
         “89.  The instant blossom of a flower under the influence of electricity.
         A conjurer takes a cut-off bud of any flower, either a rose or a camellia.  The branch where it was cut is covered by wax.  The conjurer shows the bud to the audience to convince them that there is nothing artificial about it and there is not any devices.
         Then he takes away the wax, fixes the branch of a piece of wire, and inserts it in its turn into a table, explaining that he is doing so for everybody could see that there is no replacement.
         After that he gives a sign to his assistant, who connects a battery with the wire and thus electric current reaches and penetrates the bud.  Under the influence of this great power before the spectators’ eyes the bud begins to increase and soon it blossoms out, turning into a beautiful flower…”
          A hundred years ago this was a unbelievable conjuring, and now at the lessons of physics in junior high school the students study: the same charges push away while different charges attract to each other.  The conjurer charged the petals with the same charges and that was the trick.
         The trick is simple, but it helps to make a quite modern invention, using this hint.  In order to prevent the flower petals from joining together in the strong wind and in order to keep the pollination continue, it is suggested that they should be charged with the same charges.”
              G. Altov: "And Suddenly The Inventor Appeared",  Moscow, “Detskaya literatura”, 1989, pp. 129-130.

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