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10/10/2014

Graphic Organizers - Synectics

Synectics
Graphic Organizers
"Creativity -- nothing more than following a systematic process,
allowing random connections to take place, and
using your intuition to develop unique solutions.
Oh, by the way,
it's much easier and much more fun
when you work with others throughout the process." - Doug

Background Information: Synectics (Gordon, 1961) provides an approach to creative thinking


that depends on looking at, what appears on the surface as, unrelated phenomenon and drawing
relevant connections. Its main tools, analogies or metaphors. The approach, often used in
groupwork, can help students develop creative responses to problem solving, to retain new
information, to assist in generating writing, and to explore social and disciplinary problems. It helps
users break existing minds sets and internalize abstract concepts. Synectics works well with all
ages as well as those who withdraw from traditional methods (Couch, 1993).
Top | Process: Teacher-facilitators use synectics in the classroom by leading students through a
process which results in a three dimensional view of the "problem" in order to create solutions.
Although this process appears a bit cumbersome, the resultant scope and depth of your options will
justify the time spent.
Remember, tools, when used for the right types of jobs hold great value; synectics does not work
for every job.
Define the word(s): Use a dictionary or other standard source to define each word, concept,
or theme. I prefer an unabridged dictionary for more detailed definitions.
See Try it, it works for a word list and suggestions on "being part of it" or on tolerance. This
process works with a multitude of content areas.
To ensure a fresh view generate each of the following lists separately, put the current list
away, and start the next list after a break of at least five to ten minutes. If time permits longer
breaks yield more beneficial results.
When using synectics to define a person, appropriate for self evaluation, focus your questions
on the areas of physical attributes, skills, interests, personality traits, attitudes, and
emotional states.
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Create direct analogies: What words have the same or similar meaning? (use a
Thesaurus or book of synonyms)
Describe personal analogies: What would it feel like to have the characteristics or traits
of? (describe emotions and physical attributes)
Identify compressed conflicts: What words have the opposite meaning or
characteristics? (use a book of antonyms)
Create a new direct analogy: What words have the same or similar meaning?
Yes, this repeats the prompt from the second step. The difference, after going through the first
three lists you will have gone deeper into the subject and this list will reflect that depth.
Synthesis: Look at all four lists and find key words or phrases, expand on those to generate
more. Finally, focus on a theme that may incorporate several elements based on the final list.
Try it, it works

| Top

I have used this process many times and I'm always amazed at the connections.
I've created word lists for two different topics, "being part of it" and tolerance. I use the appropriate
list of words to elicit multimedia pieces. I allow students to work independently or in a group with no
more than three, unless you feel the people can work together...? In a group of three, I have the
expectation of "multi"media, e.g. music, visual art, writing, theatre, etc. But, then again, maybe you
have a swing band, dance or circus troupe, or a large choir. Limits are good, but don't let them stifle
your imagination.
Feel free to give this a try, but be warned, students will whine and complain at the beginning. Keep
encouraging them to use the process. It works. With younger students try going through the
process with only one word, concept, or theme, and of course you may want to create
your own word list.
Put each word on a small piece of paper and then let the students randomly select one to three
words. I put the whole list into a three column Word document, leaving about a half inch in between,
then cut them out and put them in a baggy. Have fun.
"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." - J F Kennedy
"Be part of it" word list | Top
abstract

ensemble

part

accepted

exclude

partial

accurate

exemplify

Partisan

adhere

exploit

play

alienated

family

portion

align

farmyard

posse

ally

flock

pride

allotment

flotilla

productive

alone

fractured

pull

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application

fragment

push

apply

friend

random

Assimilate

frustrated

rejuvenate

band

full

remove

bi-partisan

fun

removed

bond

gaggle

repress

break

gang

resist

build

group

revisit

caravan

heal

revitalize

cell

heard

sabotage

cohort

heap

segment

committed

heterogeneous

segregate

committee

hire

separate

community

homogeneous

share

compartmentalize

solo

compatriate

ignore

spectacle

congeal

illustrate

splinter

connected

immersed

spontaneous

conspicuous

include

squad

construct

individual

subjugate

create

inquisitive

support

crowd

inspired

swarm

decompose

integrate

synthesis

deconstruct

integrity

synthesize

denied

interrupt

tangential

destroy

invigorate

team

disintegrate

isolate

tear

dismantle

lemming

them

disrupt

lonely

together

division

mend

trio

duet

mob

uncommitted

elusive

movement

united

empathy

nest

us

empower

nonproductive

void

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Graphic Organizers - Synectics

empty

nothing

wagon train

encourage

null

we

enemy

ostentatious

whole

energy

ostracized

you

adultery

glass ceiling

prejudice

advertising

Greenpeace

privacy

affirmative

homophobia

prohibited

action

homosexuality

propaganda

anarchy

imagination

prostitution

anti-Semitism

indecent

protection

appropriateness

inflammatory

prudence

bias

institutional racism

racism

bigotry

interference

radio

blasphemy

Internet

reasonable

books

intimidation

religion

cable television

intolerance

religious right

CD-ROM

invasion

repression

chaos

justice

responsible standards

chauvinism

libelous

restraint

computer hackers

liberty

restriction

computer viruses

magazines

righteousness

conformity

mail fraud

sabotage

content-neutral

mixed relationships

security

crime

monogamy

sex

democracy civilization

morality

sexual harassment

discrimination

movies

slander

disruption

murder

society

domination

NatRifleAssoc (NRA)

Spanish inquisition

e-mail

naturalism

submission

education

nonpartisanship

suppression

espionage

nudity

television

exploitation

objectionable

theft

exploration

obscenity

threat

Tolerance word list | Top

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expression

offensive

tolerance

fidelity

partisanship

unclean

films

peace

Victorianism

flaming (e-mail)

personal diaries

video

freedom

politically correct

violation

gender equity

pornography

violence

genocide

For more information | Top

Simon Wiesenthal Center Multimedia Learning Center Online - http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/ Provides a comprehensive resource on the Holocaust and WWII, virtual exhibits, a teacher's
resource center, special collections from the Institute of Documentation in Israel, and more.
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) - Teaching Tolerance http://www.splcenter.org/teachingtolerance/tt-index.html - A national education project dedicated to
helping teachers foster equity, respect, and understanding in the classroom and beyond.
Trigger Questions http://members.ozemail.com.au/%7Ecaveman/Creative/Techniques/syn_quest.htm - Take creative
action by using the Trigger Questions to transform your ideas and information into something new.
These questions are tools for transformational thinking and may lead you to some great
discoveries.
Other graphic organizers available throughout this site.

Bridging Snapshots

CerebralChart

Sketch

Compare/Contrast
Matrix

Network Tree

Spider Map

Continuum Scale

PMI

Synectics

Cycle

Problem/Solution
Outline

T-Chart

Fishbone Map

Questions

Venn Diagram

Human Interaction
Outline

Ranking

Web

KWLH

Series of Events
Chain

Site Map - A list of all the pages with annotations, yes, all of the pages on this site.

Teachers - Make sure you check out the Assignments section which provides exercises, projects,
support resources, and rubrics.
Quotes - New links and lots of new quotes about life, art, and philosophy.
Historical and Cultural Context - provides an overview of art movements and the context in which they developed.
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We have not covered every movement or period, rather selected snippets to help provide students with an
opportunity to explore the elements that have influenced other artists in their quest for expressing personal voice. As
with all of our work, this site remains a work in progress.

Wow, validation.

Check out edHelper.com to find more educational resources, lesson plans, news updates, and
more.
For more graphic organizers see:
Graphic Organizer Index - http://www.graphic.org/goindex.html - provides a matrix of organizers with practical
applications for each category.

Site Map | Graphic Organizers | Quotes | WordList | Glossary | Rules of Thumb | On-Line
Resources | WriteDesign | Co-Teachers - Doug and Melissa | Gallery | Top
E-Mail Doug at mrdoug@aznet.net or Melissa at mmckinstry@sdja.com
Melissa and I would like to
thank znet for
making a commitment to
education and WriteDesign.
References:

Kipperman, D., & Linder, D. (1995). CerebralFlatulence. In EdTec 670 Cardboard Cognition.
Available: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec670/Cardboard/card/c/CerebralFlat.html
Couch, Richard (1993). Synectics and Imagery: Developing Creative Thinking Through
Images. In: Art, Science & Visual Literacy: Selected Readings from the Annual Conference of the
International Visual Literacy Association (24th, Pittsburgh, PA. September 30 - October 4, 1992).
(ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 363 330)
Gordon, W.J.J. (1961). Synectics. New York: Harper & Row.

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