Learning Activity – Idea Development


“Use the Internet to research the history of the fast food chain McDonald’s and explain which parts of the SCAMPER model are evident in its development onto its current success.”

What is a Scamper?

The scamper method is a creative tool similar to the good old brainstorming. It was first used by Alex Osborn and Bob Eberle. It is often used in the creative process as a way to find the best and simplest solution to a problem. It helps the person think in a new way.

This is what SCAMPER means:

Substitute something
Combine it with something else.
Adapt something to it.
Modify or Magnify it.
Put it to some other use.
Eliminate something.
Reverse or Rearrange it.

How has the SCAMPER method helped McDonald’s on its way to become one of the biggest fast food chains in the world ?

1940 – Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first McDonald’s Bar-B-Q. They served everything from Ribs, Hamburgers and so on. It was a very popular restaurant and it was one of the only places where you could get your meal directly into your car.

1948 – The brothers soon realized that most of their money came from hamburgers. They closed down their restaurant and decided to open a new one with simpler menus. Only selling Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, fries and soda. They changed their name again to McDonalds.

1962 – They now opened their first indoor restaurant in Denver, Colorado. They now also started to sell Hamburgers with fish/chicken, salads and Kids Meals.

1967 – The first restaurant outside USA now opened and not long after many more


How did they use SCAMPER?

Substitute – They changed both their menu and their restaurants.

Combine – Walk-in and Drive-through in the same restaurants.

Adapt – They lowered their prices, updated their menus and sold what people wanted.

Modify – Change in logos and updating it constantly to keep up with the times.

Purpose (Put to other use)  – Kids parties and other events could take place in the restaurant.

Eliminate – Removed almost all non-hamburger items on their menus.

Reverse / Rearrange – Redesigned both menus, logos and restaurants over time.

Learning Activity – Idea Development

Learning Activity – Idea development


“A man is replacing a wheel on his car, when he accidentally drops the four nuts used to hold the wheel on the car. They fall into a deep drain, irretrievably lost. A passing girl offers him a solution that enables him to drive home.”

You take one nut of each wheel and have 3 on each.

“Two Russians walk down a street in Moscow. One Russian is the father of the other Russian’s son. How are they related?”

They are husband and wife.

“What occurs once in June, once in July and twice in August?”

What occurs once in June, once in July and twice in August? U.

“Six drinking glasses stand in a row, with the first three full of water and the next three empty. By handling and moving only one glass at a time, how can you arrange the six glasses so that no full glass stands next to another full glass, and no empty glass stands next to another empty glass? What is the minimum number of moves to solve this puzzle?”

You pick up glass number 2 and empty it into glass number 5. That is the minimum.


Learning Activity – Idea development