Problem Solving - 3

Continued Growth

Table of Contents


Definition: Problem solving is finding solutions to difficult problems or situations.

Discussion Points

  • Everyone has problems and the ability to solve them.
  • A problem is a question that needs answered or a situation that creates difficulty.
  • Problems can be successfully solved by taking the appropriate steps.
  • Most problems have more than one solution.
  • Review Discussion Points:

    Possible activities to review the discussion point:

    60 Second Paper:

    • Share Discussion Points with students.
    • Pose a problem needing to be solved.
    • Give the students 60 seconds to write down possible solutions to the problem.
    • Have students share what they have written or collect the papers and discuss content anonymously.
    • Jigsaw Activity: Using discussion points, the teacher will divide students into groups/pairs. This activity encourages collaboration and emphasis a student’s responsibility to contribute to the group.

      • Students are broken down into groups.
      • Each student within the group is assigned a specific role.
      • The students will use discussion points to guide the activity.
      • Students will create a problem people their age may face.
      • As a group, possible solutions will be discussed and each member will fulfill their role in the group.
      • Once the students have individually gathered their specific information, the small groups get together and share what each person has learned.

Activity 1: Solve It!

Divide the class into two groups. When you read a problem, allow groups 30-60 seconds to develop a solution to the problem. Each group should share their solution and then discuss which might be the better solution and why. Lead students to understand that most problems have more than one solution.

Materials Needed:
  • Problem Topics Below

    1. There is a girl on the bus who is always mean to you. She always bumps you when she walks by and she calls you names. She makes you feel stupid. You don't think you can take it anymore. What could you do?

    2. You borrowed your sister's sweatshirt one day without asking and you put a hole in it. What could you do?

    3. You are hanging outside with your friend and she decides to pick your neighbor's flowers. She gives you the pretty handful of flowers and right then your neighbor opens the door. She asks you why you picked her flowers. What could you do?

    4. You are taking a test and the guy behind you asks to see your answers. What could you do?

    5. The teacher is giving directions. Your friend sitting next to you keeps poking you and taking things off your desk. What should you do?

    6. You didn't do your homework. Your friend offers to let you copy her answers. What should you do?

Activity 2: What Would You Do?

Remind students that in activity 1 multiple solutions were given for the same problem. Explain that when faced with a problem, it is important to think about all possible solutions before selecting the best one.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 per person
  • Pencil for each person

Divide students into small groups or partners. Allow students time to complete student activity sheet A. Discuss when finished.

Activity 3: Personal Narrative

Allow students time to complete student activity sheet B. Seek volunteers to share when finished.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet B - 1 per person
  • Pencil for each student

Script Writing and Animation

Script Prompt: Develop a script and create an animation that includes two characters in a setting related to the problem. The dialogue between the characters must include:

  • A scenario in which character has a problem needing a solution, Character offers to help character one by asking more specific questions about the problems, Characters discuss possible solutions to the problem, characters choose one of the possible solutions to solve the problem, use of appropriate ways to end the conversation
  • Materials Needed:
    • White board/chalk Board or Chart Paper
    • Markers
    • Script sheet for each group
    • Pencil for each student

    Script Writing Practice: Teacher led discussion of script creation. As a whole/small group, write both an appropriate and inappropriate versions of the script. In small groups or individually, have the students independently create scripts using the prompts above.

    Independent Script Recording: Pair students to complete 2 scripts together using the same script prompt detailed above. Direct students to take turns being character one and character two.

    Animation Creation: Have students record their scripts using the SiLAS software. Remember to name and save their work. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.

    Lesson Extension: Incorporate ELA standards by discussing both spoken and written grammar rules (dialogue punctuation, correct verb tense, sentence structure, parts of a story; character, setting, problem, solution). Consider using both the final animation and written script as an ELA grade/assignment.

    Lesson Review

    Allow students time to complete the student lesson review. Discuss answers when finished.

    Materials Needed:
    • Student Lesson Review Sheet - 1 per student
    • A pencil for each student


    Go to only student curriculum

    Student Activity Sheet A

    Directions: Read the scenario below. Fill in at least three possible solutions to the problem. As a group select the best possible solution.

    You have been assigned to a group project with two other students in your class. One of the students is unwilling to do any of the work and simply wants you and your other group members to do all the work. He tells you if he gets a bad grade it will be all your fault. What would you do?

    Student Activity Sheet B

    Directions: Answer the question below.

    Write a personal narrative sharing a time you had a problem. How did you solve the problem? Do you feel you used the best possible solution? Why or why not?

    Student Lesson Review Sheet

    Directions: Answer the question below.

    How does thinking of multiple solutions to a problem help you work through a difficult situation?