Give students a problem to solve and the tools needed to do so.

Photo of urbie delgado
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I hear lots of talk about how to be creative people need to think outside the box. Here's a thought: How about letting students in on this salient fact: All the knowledge they will ever need to know can be found in a box on a shelf somewhere. All they need is to be able to find their box and be curious enough to want to try and figure out how to open it up. Exactly what this looks like for any one specific subject matter area I have no idea. Here's one I am working on to illustrate.

A person starts a new job. One of the first things new hires need to do is to be oriented to their new organization. While they have the technical skills to do a particular job they need to learn about the organization's culture, benefits, and so on. So the person is exposed to a problem that lies within their ability to solve. When it's solved they get a key to unlock the box and are presented with something cool. Maybe an Easy Button?

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

The idea is to encourage students to leverage what they know to build new knowledge collaboratively by solving one problem after another. Their curiosity (people generally like playing games and solving puzzles) leads them to connect what they know with what (curriculum standards) says they need to learn next.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • All of the above

Evaluation results

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1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love it. - 100%

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Cole Godvin

Hello Urbie,
Cole here from The Nueva School. This is a fun idea! We have used activities at Nueva and found they were great for team building and problem solving skills, both important elements for a 21st century education!