TRIZ Textbooks:  CID Course for Children, 3-1G0
Planet of Unsolved Misteries:
Course of Creative Imagination Development (CID), 
3rd Grade, 1st Semester, Methodical Guide-Book
Natalia V. Rubina, 1999 [published in Russian]
English translation by Irina Dolina, Jun. 3, 2001
Technical Editing by Toru Nakagawa, Dec. 8, 2001
Posted in this "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" in English on Dec. 17, 2001 under the permission of the Author.
(C) N.V. Rubina, I. Dolina, and T. Nakagawa 2001

CID Course Top  Guide-Book Top  0. Introduction  Next Chapter Workbook of this chapter 

     In the first semester of the third grade we continue studying the method of solving problems.  The level of problem complexity is increasing; the children try to use the TRIZ  methods and the rules in their every day life and studies; and gradually they acquire an experience in creative activity.  The main attention should be focused on systematic Card index.  The children of this age group have a wide scope of interests, but at the same time their enthusiasm for this or that subject, as a rule, doesn’t last long.  Therefore, don’t choose too huge and serious topics for the kids’ card index.  It is important that the children should gain concrete results (it might be the selections of problems, games, rhymes under the same title, phenological observations, watching animals and plants’ life, data on technical system history, on our city history, etc.).

     It is good, if possible, to use the methods studied at the CID lessons for the work at other lessons.  Our school has an interesting experience of such work at the Literature and English lessons.  Many of the children’s works are original and unusual.  But how should we assess those papers?, and more importantly, what criteria should the children themselves apply in their creative activities?

     The CID course is based on the activities something like: “Present a fantastic idea, in relation to a certain object”.  Then we face with a question: How should we assess these ideas?  In case of a technical idea, its evaluation is set up on a comparison with a prototype, comparing productivity, cost and so on.  Here the role of a scale is performed by technical knowledge, information about a real prototype, and finally practice.  And then how to evaluate fantastic ideas?  What indices should we use?

     A salutary idea: "We won’t evaluate at all; it is not necessary..."  That's not right; it is necessary!  If a teacher says “This is good and not good”, the evaluation doesn't motivate the children and doesn’t help them in doing the following activity.  Imagine a coach watching the efforts of the future swimmers and saying “Look, you are drowning; it is not what we need…  And you, you look as if you are holding on; that's good...”  Zero information.  Another thing is an evaluation according to five indices having four levels for each index.  For example: “You have got one point according to the first index; don’t wave your hands aimlessly; try to do this or that…”

     We develop a creative imagination and teach to generate amazing, unexpected, surprising ideas.  Hence, if we want the CID course to be effective, we have to be able to assess ideas in order to know where a mistake is and how to correct it.

      Why do we need this scale?  There are three considerations:

  1. The scale stimulates thorough reading, as is proved by practice.
  2. Each evaluation of an idea or a story is a micro-research in itself.  Thirty-fourty such micro researches will bring up first skills of analytical, systematic thinking.  This was also proved by experiences of teaching.
  3. After practicing the scale “Fantasy”, you may undertake the activities of the same kind but more difficult.

Scale "Fantasy": levels and criteria.

Criterion 1 -  Novelty.


  1. Idea (situation, plot, etc.) is used repeatedly, “One to one”, or  overlapped by earlier or more complete idea.
  2. Prototype is changed, but there is no qualitatively-new idea.
  3. Prototype is changed in such a way that a qualitatively-new idea has emerged.
  4. A new idea, that doesn’t have close prototypes in literature.

Criterion 2 –  Persuasiveness.


  1. Purely fantastic idea (situation, plot, etc.) that doesn’t have any ground; arbitrarily, contradictory to well known facts, fairy.
  2. Fantastic idea that has literary grounds; i.e. equipped with truthful-looking “arguments” and “evidence”.
  3. Science-fiction idea.  It doesn’t contradict scientific notions and known facts, but it is not confirmed by any reliable arguments.
  4. Science-prognosis idea, that puts forward a logically well-grounded conception, hypothesis, an assumption.

Criterion 3 –  Humanitarian Value.


  1. Purely science-technical idea, or a common situation repeated at the “fantastic background”.
  2. It talks about a man everything known, but there are new elements, details, peculiarities, etc.  In particular, new feelings of a man in an unusual environment.
  3. A man (or a society) is placed under unusual circumstances, and consequently something new emerges in a man (or in a society).
  4. New principles (or something new about principles) of constructing a society.  In particular, all essentially new utopias and anti-utopias.
Criterion 4 – Artistic Value.


  1. There is no appreciable artistic value.
  2. There is, at least, one artistic value found – in the plot, style, language, characters, etc.
  3. There are many artistic values found; all the works fully reflect an author’s personality.
  4. What is higher than the third level.

Criterion 5 – Subjective Evaluation.


1 – 4:  A level is indicated depending on a personal evaluation (like, dislike) without grounding and proves.

Additional  questions to the scale “Fantasy”.

  • Evaluation of novelty:  Is an idea (situation, plot, or work in general) new?  If not, you have to mark differences with a prototype.  Is it possible to consider a difference to be principle?  Is an evaluation overestimated?  Level 4 is a level of  “Time Machine” by G. Wells.

  • Evaluation of persuasiveness.  To what extent is the idea well-grounded?  Is it something obviously incredible (a witch, a ghost, a dwarf and the like)?  Probably, there are no proves, but an idea in principle isn’t incredible.  Or does the idea has a certain ground and may become true?  G. Wells’ prediction has been realized: the first atomic station was built in the beginning of 1950s…

  • Evaluation of humanitarian value:  What new things did you learn about a man or a society?  Is a “dose” of new data (or thoughts) large, detailed, or something important?  Is the evaluation overestimated?  Lem’s “ Solyaris” is placed at Level 3.

  • Evaluation of artistic value:  How is an idea implemented?  given? What is an “architecture “ (composition) of the work?; is there anything new, original?  And what are the “bricks” (language)?  This author has other works as well; do you feel anything in common in thes cases?  What in particular?  What makes the author’s “style” different?  What can be referred to the artistic advantageous achievements?  Is it overestimated?  Level 4 is given, for example, to the artistic level of Alexander Green's best works...

              Undoubtedly, for the third grade students each criterion of the scale “Fantasy” might not be interesting.  Our aim is to introduced them to a general notion of the scale.  The detailed description of the criteria is given here to help the teachers to understand the peculiarities of this method and, hopefully, to use it for evaluating children’s works.
    1.  Warming-up
    (Card index to the CID lessons for the third grade.)
    3.  Introduction to the lesson

         We are very glad to welcome you on the pages of our book.
         When a new academic year begins, it is pleasant to recollect the careless summer days.
         Think of one of these days… During vacation a distant relative of your age visited you.  You have to make his stay interesting, so you decided to show him the most fascinating things in your city.  Where will you go?

         Write and draw a picture. 

         Games, attractions, amusements – are very pleasant memories, creating nice, friendly atmosphere.  Arrange the talk in such a way that the kids, during an imaginary trip around the native city could be surprised by its kindness and warmth, given by people and nature, how unique and original is the city of our childhood.
    4.  Main topic

         Devise an attraction, a museum or other place of amusement, which neither exist in your city nor anywhere else.

    1.  Choice of a method.
    2.  Choice of a system, on the basis of which a new idea emerges.
    3.  Steps of the method.
    4.  Supplements and details of the idea that has emerged.
    5.  A picture or a story, explaining this idea.

         This assignment will let you check and the kids recollect in an active form the earlier-studied methods of obtaining new ideas.  Give the children an opportunity to work independently.  It is convenient to divide the class in two groups and prepare collective works.  Watch how actively and comprehensively the children use the CID methods and rule.  It is good if the children would be able to use their work-books of the previous years, their card index with the examples of using methods and rules.

    Scale "Fantasy  – 2"

         How do you understand  novelty? 
         How to define the level of novelty (from 1 to 4 points):

         It is important that the idea should be not only new but also plausible.
         Define how persuasive this idea is (from 1 to 4 points):

    Humanitarian Value:
         What new information does your idea can give about a human being or about mankind?

    Artistic Value:
         The idea is not a story or a novel.  Yet, judging by the way a person expresses his ideas, much can be said about the author.

    Subjective Evaluation:
         Have you ever thought about the reason why you like or dislike books, stories, movies?


         Evaluate your today’s works.

    Give points from 1 to 4 to yourself.  Give points for your neighbor’s idea from 1 to 4.
    Novelty Novelty
    Persuasiveness Persuasiveness
    Humanitarian value Humanitarian value
    Artistic value Artistic value
    Subjective evaluation  Subjective evaluation

         Compare your points.
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