Cross curricular: We have lift off!

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By Sue Cowley educational author and trainer

Sue Cowley uses a space theme to send children’s creative thinking skills blasting into orbit


This series will show you how you can use cross-curricular activities to develop a range of key thinking skills. The three articles will each focus on a particular skill and will suggest games and activities that children will enjoy. In this first part, you’ll find exercises designed to encourage creative thinking. All three articles are set within the topic of ‘Journey into space’. This is an exciting cross-curricular theme that links to many of the QCA Schemes of Work and fits particularly well with science (Unit 5E – Earth, Sun and Moon, and Unit 6E – Forces in action) and music (Unit 13 – Painting with sound – Exploring sound colours, and Unit 18 – Journey into space – Exploring sound sources). However, with a little adaptation, these activities will work equally well within whatever topic your class is currently working on.

Barriers to creative thinking

Before you begin these activities, it’s worth remembering that the traditional school environment can work against creative thought. Children can be reluctant to abandon their normally structured classroom routine for more free-thinking activities. They often believe that they must search for the ‘right’ answer, rather than allowing themselves to experiment and make mistakes. Also, children will sometimes fall back on reproducing the creative ideas of others, for instance from books or the television.

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