Saturday, March 15, 2008


As a teacher and a parent I live for those AHA moments with kids when the light bulb goes on and they "get it"! The cool thing is that we can all experience Aha moments if we think about it.

Right now I'm teaching at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference in California and you can almost see the lightbulbs hovering over these writers' heads as they walk the grounds of the Redwoods. Sometimes when we absorb new information it can be overwhelming and we feel inadequate. Often we just need a little time to process what we've learned before the "light bulb" goes on. As connections are made that light bulb flickers until just before it blazes full force. It's an amazing thing.

There are ways we can help it along. I use a "thinking prompt" at the end of my workshops to encourage reflection and hopefully discovery.

1. Take sheets of colored paper and cut them into fourths. Distribute one sheet to each person.
2. Ask participants to write down an "Aha" moment:
- What did you learn that you didn't know before? OR
- What did you learn that is either opposite than what you thought or confirmed what you thought? OR
- Did you learn something that changes how you view yourself or your profession or your world in general? OR
- Did you learn something that you believe you must share with everyone else so that they know too?

3. Have people share their Aha moments. It's a great way to summarize a session and make permanent connections.

Aha moments have noticable brain activity that is different than normal thought. Check out this article for more.