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The Best Videos Showing “Thinking Outside The Box” — Help Me Find More


'Think Outside the Box' photo (c) 2011, Leland Francisco - license:

Earlier this year, I had asked people to help me find videos that would demonstrate “thinking outside of the box” and received some suggestions. I’m still looking for more, but here’s what I have so far:

This is from Yahoo News:

Here’s a famous scene from the movie Apollo 13 (thanks to Christian Schrock for the suggestion):

Heddi Craft suggest clips from MacGyver. Here are a couple I found on YouTube:

I hope people will contribute more ideas!

This isn’t a video, but I’ve previously posted about this research:

Thinking Outside The Box, With Our Bodies And Our Brains is from NPR and reports on an intriguing study. Basically, some students sat in a big box and others sat outside of it. Both were given tests to measure their creativity. The students sitting on the outside were judged to have developed solutions on the test that were twenty percent more creative than those sitting inside. The NPR writer comments:

As an educator, I enjoy playing with these ideas. Aren’t walled classrooms boxes too? Would my students’ creativity flare to new heights if we met under open skies?

Video: Dead Poets Society On Thinking Outside Of The Box

This scene from the movie Mona Lisa Smile, suggested by reader Alexandra Duarte, is a new addition:

It would also be a great video to show to IB Theory of Knowledge classes when learning about the arts…

Reader Chris suggested this scene from “Men In Black”:

Thinking Outside The Box To Save Jews In World World Two

You might also be interested in:

The Best Sources Of Advice On Helping Students Strengthen & Develop Their Creativity

The Best Examples Of Turning Problems Into Opportunities

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. I agree about the walled classrooms and think the re-engineering of schools the most important problem that needs to be solved in education. Until this happens, nothing we change and implement will really bear fruit.

    I just posted a great video about Sao Paulo “can men” – who collect cans and then do some incredible things with them in a government supported workshop. “Thinking outside the can” is what I call it.

    I’ve written previously and highlighted videos about “synectics” – I think all teachers should learn more about this unique approach to fostering student creativity.

    I’ve used optical illusions in the classroom and got a great response as a challenge to the thinking processes of students. They enjoy the challenge of putting the pieces back together after the illusion throws their traditional logic out the window.

  2. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing such wonderful resources for an important topic…

  3. An oldie from Nightline about IDEO:

  4. The movie “Mona Lisa Smile” is a great example to teach students think for themselves. The official trailer contains some examples.

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