A Left-Brainer: The Banana Split


Sometimes solutions to problems are in places that you wouldn’t consider looking for them – like in the problems themselves!

When you express a challenge in only one way you open yourself up to only one answer.  You might produce a list of options, but you’ll likely only choose to do one of them in the end.

But what if there was a better way?

The Banana Split will turn on that left-brain power to help you find solutions to problems, like “How should I study for my final exams?”, by showing you that there are many ways to solve them.


a)      Say your problem in only two words.  Using the problem given above, you might choose “Exam study.”

b)     Separate the words. “Exam” and “study”.

c)      Write two words that relate to each of the words you’ve chosen. “Exam” might have “test” and “marks” associated with it while “study” might have “notes” and “classwork”.

d)      Repeat this process until you feel you’ve got enough words to work with. Your word list might look something like the picture below.

e)      See how you can combine these words in unique ways. What ideas can you generate?  How can you create something new?

In the example used here, your combinations will give you ideas about unique ways to study.  You might choose to put the three words “questions”, “answers” and “diagrams” together to draw probable exam questions in picture form that have the answers sketched right into them.   (When you read the exam question and remember the picture you’ll also remember the answer!)

Or you might combine “notes”, “words” and “interactives” together to visualize your notes as if the events described in them were happening directly in front of you.  Then you can add in sound to your ‘video notes’ to feature significant words you need to know.

Following the steps in The Banana Split will let you take apart your problem and look at the pieces of it in new ways bringing an assortment of different solutions along with it.  What you discover may truly be exciting!



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