Critical Thinking and Problem Solving — Day 3

Today we are going to work on two sections: Hook and Explore.  However, before that, I want to say something about the assignment due to the disappointment and frustration I had while grading your assignment this weekend.


Think about lessons in school that really hooked you in, or made you want to engage in the lesson. The task and hook work hand in hand to focus the students on the learner outcomes. Designing the task and hook is a balancing act between providing the students with a direction and purpose, but not directing them with steps to follow or a menu of choices. The hook is just what it sounds like. It is a way to compel the students to want or need to know and learn the content the teacher has included in the project.

Some questions to think about:

  • Who owns the problem presented?
  • How does this problem relate to the student?
  • Does the task or problem pass the “so what” test?
  • Do the students have input as to how the task is approached?
  • Are there multiple solutions for the task?
  • Does the problem seem authentic for the student?
  • From (

The Anticipatory Set

  • Give some facts, interesting websites, additional questions, etc. – this is considered the anticipatory set – the part of the adventure where you get students excited about the question.
  • Include an appropriate online game or activity related to your question – don’t just provide a link – give students something specific to do
  • If appropriate for your topic – create a small gallery of photos that fit the question. But give students something to do with the pictures – or encourage them to create a photo album of their own pictures related to the question.


Now you have already created an essential question, a hook, the idea for final product and maybe the graphic organizer.  We are going to explore more about the topic.  Your students might use the “Get Organized” graphic organizer – or there might be an additional one for this section. Your group will need to provide a list of websites that are age-appropriate. Be sure you are not just listing websites, but describing the relevant sites and giving student something to do when they enter a site.  Also, please notice that these websites are your selections, not Google’s selections.  Please DO NOT give me the first five websites you get from any search engine.

Where can you go to find interactive games and resources to use in this section and the “Explore” section?  We’ll look at Thinkfinity – which is an appropriate resource regardless of grade or subject area.


  1. Make sure you keep working on the adventure project and get little pieces done day by day.
  2. All the revisions will be due by 6 PM tomorrow if you want to revise.
  3. All the late assignment before Learning Adventure will be due by 6PM tomorrow as well except for document analysis, because some of you use 2 late passes for that assignment. If that is the case, your document analysis will be due on Wednesday when we meet.

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