Adolescents may push the envelope when it comes to being different from older people, but not from their peers. In fact this age group exhibits more conformity to their classmates than any other. So it may be a comfort to know that true originality is not really possible, new ideas are always built on old ones. If you came across an idea that had no reference to anything that you already knew, it would seem like complete nonsense.
However, generating ideas that are original and different from others around you is still extremely valuable. These ideas are springboards to alternative solutions for problems and new products. After students complete the assignment described yesterday, it is time for them to compare their ideas were to the others in their class. Originality is determined by how an idea differs from those of one’s peers.
But how can you grade students based on what others do? As a teacher, your performance in class is partially based on how what prior teachers have done. You make an effort to find out what most students have been taught so you do not repeat too much information or leave gaps. Teenagers are highly prone to conformity, and they pay a lot of attention to what their peers do. Grading based on originality encourages them to break this pattern of behavior.