(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)
Some reasons why students seemed stimulated by this discussion:
1) Before reading this article, many just assumed that very smart children (prodigies) would become the most successful as adults.
2) They seemed interested to hear about prodigies that their classmates knew or that were in each other’s countries.
3) They were surprised by how important or unimportant approval by their parents was to their classmates.
4) They enjoyed comparing how creative they were and how much each of them was a conformist and/or non-conformist.
5) They liked to talk about their passions.
Here is the basis for this discussion: In his book, Originals, Adam Grant explains how many people believe that life would be easier and people would admire us if we were very, very smart. Actually, though, being creative improves people’s lives more.
This and future discussion activities include four parts:
1) A one-page article usually including a brief summary of a high-interest research study.
2) Ten true-false comprehension questions.
3) Pre-Discussion Exercise in which students read and think about several questions about their own experiences about the topic.
4) Small-group discussions of the article in which each student is given a paper with different questions in the form of Student A, B or C.