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Education Creations - This and That

Jul 27

Written by: deb
7/27/2015 7:56 AM  RssIcon

Creative Problem Solving is a fun activity to use with a story that you read to your class.

You will begin to read a picture book to your students. Just prior to the point where the story's "problem" is introduced, stop reading.

Group your students and ask them to think about what the problem might be. Set a time limit for them to discuss what they think the problem is.

After they have identified that one problem, ask them to now work on what they think a good solution would be for the problem. Set the criteria...for example, "The only criteria is that you must use the story characters to solve the problem." Allow them ten to fifteen minutes to come up with as many unique solutions as possible. When this part is finished they must choose their three best answers...they can vote on which to choose, or you can again set some criteria for them. When they have decided on the three solutions they believe to be best, have them use a rubric to filter each solution. The solution that gets the highest points using the rubric is the one the group must choose as their final solution, even if they don't think it is the best one. Then, they must work together to figure out possible things that could go wrong, etc. Once they have all of their answers, ask each group to share their thoughts about the problem and solution. By this time they are usually very anxious to find out the problem and its solution by having you read the end of the story.

A good story to begin with is The Three Little Pigs. Even though my 2nd graders were familiar with the story, they had never discussed the problem in the story. My students came up with some very awesome ideas about the "real" problem. One student commented, "The problem is that the wolf needs to figure out how to get his dinner."  I had never really thought about the story from the wolf's side...I was always thinking about the poor pigs.

You say you teach at middle school level? High School? Everyone enjoys a good picture book! Read one to them and try this fun way of delving deeper into a story.

Happy Teaching!

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