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Creativity Module 6:

Enhancing Fluency

Performing Art Class

Background Information:

Fluency involves generating many ideas (Sternberg, 1988;Cotton,1991; Michalko, 2006) and is defined “as the number of the ideas and approaches used to accomplish a task or solve a problem."



Name as many colors as you can. Substitute: girls’ names, boys’ names, toys, uses of a brick, fruits, sandwiches, states, oceans, etc.

Guideline for practicing fluency:

  • Write down your thoughts and ideas as they come to you.

  • Working in a group can be beneficial, as people often build upon each other’s ideas.

Generate Lists

  • Generate many different uses for common items, such as a pencil, a ruler, or a paper towel tube.

  • Generate synonyms for common words or phrases, such as, “Good job.”

  • Generate many different ways to arrange the desks in the classroom (draw pictures).

  • Generate names for a classroom pet, a team, or alternative titles to a book.

  • Generate ideas for a class party.

  • Generate questions about a given topic. This works well at the start of a social studies or science unit.

  • Generate solutions to a reoccurring classroom problem. For example, the noise level is too high during work times, or students are feeling that they are not treated fairly during foursquare games at recess.

  • Generate solutions to a regional or world issue, such as poverty or global warming.



Pre-assessment to determine who may need fluency support.

Teachers of writing recognize that generating fluent ideas can be challenging for some students.  Each school year, I kick off writing workshop (Shubitz & Dorfman, 2019) with personal narratives. I take this approach for two reasons, first, most K-12 curriculums requires it; and second, it helps me get to know my students. This “getting to know students” includes identifying early those who struggle and excel with creative fluency. 


It is common to experience a wide variety of abilities in student use of creative fluency.  When asked to brainstorm, or generate ideas for a writing topic, teachers will notice some students quickly get to work, some students freeze, and others fidget or seek help from others, and a few will state that they have no ideas. This is a teacher’s first assessment of student fluency. Within minutes, a creatively minded educator can become aware of who needs support developing creative fluency and who excels at this creative

Student ongoing self-assessment

Authoring their own texts provide students with opportunities to analyze and reflect upon both the creative writing process and their creative thinking process. Utilize language from the RDCA (see chapter 5) to develop appropriate rubrics and tools to support students in self-assessment throughout the creative writing process. (See Figure 9.1)


The RDCA targets fluency through the following four items: 


7. I can generate many relevant solutions.

28. I can rapidly produce a lot of ideas relevant to a task.

36. I generate many ideas when I draw.

40. I generate many ideas.

The goal, for both teacher and student, is to utilize language from the RDCA to conceptualize, reflect upon, and refine creativity skills. In this case generating ideas, or fluency in writing. Figure 9.1 provides a fluency self-assessment.

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