Food for hungry minds

THINKING OUT OF THE BOX. By Chris Henshaw Niven Ltd, 43 King Henry Close, Cheltenham GL53 7EZ Tel 01242 57531 pound;21.99 incl pamp;p

Thinking Out of the Box is a little gem from an astute teacher. Designed to help children develop healthy thinking skills, the "box" contains a "dietary supplement" to the National Curriculum in the form of 200 colour-coded activity cards. The recommended dose is "one a day"; no teacher preparation and little recording required - just 15 minutes per helping. Pure brain food!

Each colour section explores a dimension of multiple intelligence: linguistic intelligence - the key to understanding and communication; logical intelligence - the ability to use a structured approach to problem solving; interpersonal intelligence: self-awareness, emotional literacy and personal organisation skills.

The format is simplicity itself - cards with ideas on them. "What if people could fly?" is a typical opener. "Imagine two of your friends have had an argument and are not speaking to each other."

No right or wrong answers here, just a series of open-ended prompts for discussion, and problem solving. You can pick and mix, from emotional intelligence to real problem solving. "Think about ways in which a clock and a window are the same and ways in which they are different." "If you could change 5 things about yourself, what would you change?" This is excellent material, conveying a vision of the success and pleasure to be gained through shared learning. One tiny box. One big contribution to teaching and learning.

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