Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Lateral Thinking Exercises

Classic Lateral Thinking Exercises -1 (answers)
Source: Unknown (please write if you know)

1. There is a man who lives on the top floor of a very tall building. Everyday he gets the elevator down to the ground floor to leave the building to go to work. Upon returning from work though, he can only travel half way up in the lift and has to walk the rest of the way unless it's raining! Why?

2. A man and his son are in a car accident. The father dies on the scene, but the child is rushed to the hospital. When he arrives the surgeon says, "I can't operate on this boy, he is my son!" How can this be?

3. A man is wearing black. Black shoes, socks, trousers, coat, gloves and ski mask. He is walking down a back street with all the street lamps off. A black car is coming towards him with its light off but somehow manages to stop in time. How did the driver see the man?

4. One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How?

5. Why is it better to have round manhole covers than square ones?

6. A man went to a party and drank some of the punch. He then left early. Everyone else at the party who drank the punch subsequently died of poisoning. Why did the man not die?

7. A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be so?

8. There are two plastic jugs filled with water. How could you put all of this water into a barrel, without using the jugs or any dividers, and still tell which water came from which jug?

9. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? (or day names in any other language)

10. This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out.