What if your I Have a Dream lesson opened with your students’ interests? What if Martin Luther King’s life and legacy triggered students’ ability to design a mind-bending dream?
Ask a two-footed, dream-building question such as,
What innovative change in your situation would benefit you and others?
Compare questions in the video below to queries in your text to see how two-footed questions can help your students build courage to shape and support a dream worth chasing.
First, Pick a Problem You See that Needs a Dream-level Solution
We are drowning as a society, George Lucas said, But we need to create knowledge and pass it on to the next generation. It’s more natural to create mind-bending dreams than many people realize, but it takes stepping courageously in a new direction. It also involves risk to step beyond the problem you identify and propose a possibility. Act on a dream, for instance, and you begin to release chemicals in your brain and in others, to spark creative energy. Sound like fuel for your dream?
Second, Spot a Personal Ability or Talent You Enjoy
Simply deep dive into your DNA pool with a two-footed question that links your abilities to design the dream you imagine. How will you find such an ability? Ask, What do you like to be thanked for most, and why so?
One capability that pops into my mind, for example, is that I like to be thanked for writing clearly, and raising significant topics that can be improved, as well as proposing solutions with the brain in mind. Recently a very well known writer and editor at UCLA, thanked me for my international textbook chapter and original ideas on a brain based mentoring approach. This Wiley book happens to be a collaborative handbook to improve mentoring, but that unexpected gift of thanks for valuable and progressive ideas, meant the world to me. It also spotlighted one strength or ability I try to develop daily.
The question, What do you like to be thanked for most … ? generated my writing strength. If this writing capability could help me design and propose an innovative solution to a nagging problem, your strength can do the same. Let’s say the problem is that leaders cannot seem to disagree while building goodwill among those who differ.
At this point, two namungos (fictional characters with real brain parts) BAS and WM, will leap into action to help you question a problem and dream your way into a possibility. How so?
Check Out Your Brain’s Warehouse to Store Problems or Possibilities
Enter BAS (the character that represents your brain’s basal ganglia or big mental warehouse), and who reminds us that our brains often default to comfortable routines, unless we risk going after a dream. Peel your eyes for a trap here, because your basal ganglia stores failed past responses that keep you focused on problems as somebody else’s responsibility. Think of your basal ganglia as a huge backpack which warehouses everything you’ve ever done in life, and zoom in on a thing or two you do well. Turn your dial to even one small strength, and those failures that loom to frustrate you, tend to fade in response.
How to Hightail from Traps
The best way to move beyond BAS’ stagnant comfort zones? Simply, take one small step forward in the direction of tackling a disaster with a dream in mind. Even a tiny nudge forward builds a new neuron pathway toward a selected change you hope to realize.
Did you know that a neuron pathway created by your actions for change literally will rewire and re-shape your brain in this new direction, as you sleep tonight? Yes, it takes action to change the brain just as action may also transform your problem into a dream that benefits all concerned. The diagram below illustrates your dream-building traps and tools.
Then Recruit Your Working Memory
Enter WM (the character that represents your brain’s working memory), and who reminds you to boldly step up and learn new skills that can help to bring about change. Your working memory is like a sticky note at the front of your brain. It holds brief facts in its small capacity while you use these facts and skills to resolve complex problems. Focus on a solution to a significant problem, and your working memory hands you the mental equipment you need, and enlarges dream-building capacity at the same time. Your working memory keeps you at the cutting edges, solving problems and trying out new building tools forward.
Use and apply your working memory and over time, and the solutions you create will store in your basal ganglia warehouse. In this way your dream begins to replace warehoused failures and traps from your past – it happens nightly after you enter deep sleep or REM. Not surprisingly, people who complain more or rely on ruts, routines or comfort zones use less working memory, while people who laugh and risk new initiatives or solutions, use and store far more delight. Have you seen it happen?
One of your eight unique intelligences, intrapersonal intelligence, (which includes emotional IQ) can help you to shape a dream for yourself and others, in its intuitive ability to make good decisions or act with what some call, common sense. It’s rather extravagant in that it enhances your keen insights for change, while also nudging you to laugh at yourself easily.
In the same way that all of your unique intelligences sharpen with use, so too intrapersonal capabilities grow whenever you try new skills to solve old problems. Yes, that means your intelligence is fluid, and continues to grow in any healthy brain well past your senior years. In spite of our past belief that IQ was fixed and part of your DNA, science now shows how intelligences are fluid and grow when used to solve problems. Whenever you act by using your intrapersonal intelligence by doing related tasks, such as proposing new possibilities to a tired tradition, your brain reboots for a more clever you.
Ready to Tackle a Problem and Propose a Brain Based Dream?
Engage these neuro-discoveries to propose your innovative dream and courage will begin to fortify new prosperity as well as raise courage to take on Dr. King sized risks. How so?
Courage is triggered as you develop your strengths because intrapersonal activities such as designing a dream begins to increase thickness in the cerebral cortex, especially in areas of attention and sensation. Your proposed dream can reconnect neurons of wellbeing, and in that way support neuron pathways to a finer future for you in problem areas you tackle.
Spark courage for yourself and you will increase neurons in your hippocampus for more of the same. Yes, you will start to become the magical dream you hope others will see in you, just as did Dr. King. How can your awesome brain inspire you to look at challenges today with a dream in mind?
A Final Word
Discover more about: 1. courageous mental possibilities; 2. two-footed questions: 3. namungo fiction characters with real brain parts: 4. multiple intelligence tools that can grow your dream; 5. fun tools to awaken courage through new neuro discoveries; and, brain based tasks to unleash innovative dreams – over at my TpT site.
Specifically, see more tasks with two-footed questions to apply brain facts discussed here. Find additional tasks, questions and ready-to-roll resources to risk a dream just as Dr. King did.
YOUR TURN! Join our Brain Based Circles! Would love to meet you at any of the following!
Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset