Creativity and Thinking Skills Integrated into a Science Enrichment Unit on Flooding


Floods that used to happen every hundred years are now occurring more frequently. Human influences on the damage inflicted by flooding need to be well-understood by future voters and property-owners. Therefore, the timely topic of flooding was used as the focus of a special multi-grade enrichment short course taught by two university education professors for 26 preK-8th grade high-achieving and creative students. During the course, students listened to guest speakers (city council member, meteorologist, and environmentalist), watched two flood-related videos, read books on floods, viewed electronic presentations related to dams and recent floods, discussed causes, effects, and mitigations of flooding, and devised creative games from recycled materials to teach peers about flood concepts. The de Bono CoRT Breadth thinking skill system was used to organize many of the course activities. The flood lesson activities were relevant to these students who had experienced a flood of the city’s river the previous year and challenged students more than their typical classroom activities, an important finding considering that many gifted students drop out of school because of irrelevant and non-demanding class work. The course broadened students’ knowledge of floods and assisted them in thinking beyond the immediate situation.

Share and Cite:

Rule, A. , Schneider, J. , Tallakson, D. & Highnam, D. (2012). Creativity and Thinking Skills Integrated into a Science Enrichment Unit on Flooding. Creative Education, 3, 1371-1379. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.38200.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] American Association for the Advancement of Science (2008, 1993). Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Washington: Author.
[2] Barack, M., & Doppelt, Y. (1999). Integrating the Cognitive Research Trust (CoRT) programme for creative thinking into a project-based technology curriculum. Research in Science and Technological Education, 17, 139-151. doi:10.1080/0263514990170202
[3] Barker T., Bashmakov, I., Bernstein, L., Bogner, J. E., Bosch, P. R., Dave, R., Davidson, O. R., Fisher, B. S., Gupta, S., Halsn?s, K., Heij, G. J., Kahn Ribeiro, S., Kobayashi, S., Levine, M. D., Martino, D. L., Masera, O., Metz, B., Meyer, L. A., Nabuurs, G.-J., Najam, A., Nakicenovic, N., Rogner, H.-H., Roy, J., Sathaye, J., Schock, R., Shukla, P., Sims, R. E. H., Smith, P., Tirpak, D. A., & Urge-Vorsatz, D., & Zhou, D. (2007). Technical summary. In B. Metz, O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave, & L. A.
[4] Carter, D. (2007). Thinking ahead: Edward de Bono, the father of lateral thinking. Training Journal, 19-21.
[5] Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16, 297-334. doi:10.1007/BF02310555
[6] Cronbach, L. J., & Shavelson, R. J. (2004). My current thoughts on coefficient alpha and successor procedures. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 37, 827-838.
[7] de Bono, E. (2000). Edward de Bono’s CoRT thinking lessons. Oxford: Cavendish Information Products, Ltd.
[8] Dorph, R., Goldstein, D., Lee, S., Lepori, K., Schneider, S., & Venkatesan, S. (2007). The status of science education in the Bay Area (Research brief). Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California.
[9] Freudenburg, W. R., Gramling, R., Laska, S., & Erikson, K. T. (2008). Organizing hazards, engineering disasters? Improving the recognition of political-economic factors in the creation of disasters. Social Forces, 87, 1015-1038. doi:10.1353/sof.0.0126
[10] Fulp, S. L. (2002). Status of elementary school science teaching. Chapel Hill: Horizon Research Inc.
[11] Gardyasz, J. (2007). Hats off to creativity (De Bono thinking systems) (Innova training and consulting) (Cover story). Business Record (Des Moines), 25, 13-14.
[12] Hansen, J. B., & Toso, S. J. (2007). Gifted dropouts: Personality, family, social, and school factors. Gifted Child Today, 30, 30-41.
[13] Huber, D. G. (2011). Extreme weather and climate change: Understanding the link and managing the risk. Arlington, VA: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
[14] Huq, S., Kovats, S., Reid, H., & Satterthwaite, D. (2007). Editorial: Reducing risks to cities from disasters and climate change. Environment and Urbanization, 19, 3-15. doi:10.1177/0956247807078058
[15] Kusky, T. (2008). Floods: Hazards of surface and groundwater systems. New York: Facts on File/Infobase Publishing.
[16] Lemelson-MIT Program (2003). Invention and innovation for sustainable development: Report of a workshop sponsored by the Lemelson- MIT Program and LEAD International, London. URL (last checked 19 December 2012).
[17] Libarkin, J. C., Elkins, J. T., McNeal, K., & St. John, K. (2010). Editorial: What role do geoscientists play in society? Journal of Geoscience Education, 58, p. 1. doi:10.5408/1.3544290
[18] Mahaya, E., Tippins, D. J., Mueller, M. P., & Thomson, N. (2009). Infectious disinfection: Exploring global water quality. Science Activities, 46, 25-31. doi:10.3200/SATS.46.2.25-32
[19] Melchior, T. M., Kaufold, R. E., & Edwards, E. (1988). How schools teach thinking: Using CoRT thinking in schools. Educational Leadership, 45, 32-33.
[20] Mjelde, J. W., Litzenberg, K. K., Hoyle, J. E., Holochwost, S. R., & Funkhouser, S. (2007). Fires, floods, and hurricanes: Is ENSO to blame? Science Scope, 30, 38-42.
[21] National Research Council (1996). National science education standards: Observe, interact, change, learn. Washington: National Academy Press.
[22] National Research Council (2005). Rising above the gathering storm: Energizing and employing America for a brighter future. Washington: National Academies Press.
[23] NOVA (2005a). Mystery of the megaflood: What unleashed a catastrophic flood that scarred thousands of square miles in the American northwest? Boston, MA: Mentorn, A Television Corporation Company and WGBH Educational Foundation.
[24] NOVA (2005b). Mystery of the megaflood: TV Program Description. URL (last checked 19 December 2012).
[25] Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2011). Framework for 21st Century Learning. URL (last checked 19 December 2012).
[26] Renzulli, J. S. (1977). The enrichment triad model: A guide for developing defensible programs for the gifted and talented. Gifted Child Quarterly, 21, 227-233.
[27] Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (1997). The schoolwide enrichment model: A how-to guide for educational excellence. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.
[28] Robertson, I. J. (2000). Influences on choice of course made by university Year 1 bioscience students—A case study. International Journal of Science Education, 22, 1201-1218. doi:10.1080/09500690050166751
[29] Rogers, K. B. (2002). Re-forming gifted education: Matching the program to the child. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.
[30] Rule, A. C., & Barrera III, M. T. (2006). CoRT thinking skills guide PBL science. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 10, 145-149.
[31] Rule, A. C., & Barrera III, M. T. (2008). Three authentic curriculumintegration approaches to bird adaptations that incorporate technology and thinking skills. ERIC database, ED 501247.
[32] Shreve, R., Danbom, K., & Hanhan, S. (2002). “When the flood km we had to lv”: Children’s understandings of disaster. Language Arts, 80, 100-108.
[33] Sipiera, P. P., & Sipiera, D. M. (1998). Floods: A true book. New York: Children’s Press.
[34] Snyder, S. (2003). Boredom cited as a reason for thought of dropping out. The Philadelphia Inquirer, B1.
[35] Thompson, L. (2000). Natural disasters: Floods. New York: High Interest Books/Children’s Press/Grolier.
[36] Woods, M., & Woods, M. B. (2007). Floods: Disasters up close. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Company.
[37] Woolnough, B. E., Guo, Y., Leite, M. S., Jose de Almeida, M., Ryu, T., Wang, Z., & Young, D. (1997). Factors affecting student choice of career in science and engineering: Parallel studies in Australia, Canada, China, England, Japan, and Portugal. Research in Science and Technology Education, 15, 105-121. doi:10.1080/0263514970150108
[38] Yager, R. E. (2000). A vision for what science education should be like for the first 25 years of the new millennium. School Science and Mathematics, 100, 327-341. doi:10.1111/j.1949-8594.2000.tb17327.x
[39] Zevenbergen, A. A., Sigler, E. A., Duerre, L. J., & Howse, E. (2000). The impact of natural disasters on classroom curricula. Journal of Educational Thought, 34, 285-303.
[40] Zhao, Y. (2009). Catching up or leading the way: American education in the age of globalization. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.