Promote Problem-Solving ThinkingThere are many simple ways to infuse problem-solving thinking and reflection into program activities:
- Articulate differences and connections
- Identify emotions behind actions
- Brainstorm different approaches or solutions to a task
- Explore possible consequences
- Model and articulate decision-making process
- Reflect on past experiences
- Evaluate actions - did they meet the goal?
- Simulate or role play a task
Cognitive psychologist Myrna B. Shure describes her approach to teaching children how to think about solving problems.
5 Problem-Solving Activities for the Classroom
The five activities shared here by Concordia University educators can also be used outside the classroom.
Teach Critical Thinking and Decision-Making Skills
Decision Education Foundation
The Decision Education Foundation provides an array of resources for teaching decision making to youth.
inspirED: Responsible Decision Making
Designed by teens, educators, and SEL experts, inspirED activities empower students to work together to create more positive school climates and foster greater well-being in their schools and communities. Many of the activities can also be adapted for use outside of schools.
Decision-making and Problem-solving: Class Activity
This activity from Climate Schools in Australia includes a useful worksheet to help a young person think through a decision.
The 5 Best Decision Making Activities for Middle School
In this blog post, education consultant Bri Stauffer highlights tried and true activities that help middle school students learn how to make good decisions.
Edutopia: The Benefits of Teaching Ethical Dilemmas
Introducing ethical dilemmas in the classroom can open up opportunities not only for debate and critical thinking, but also for personal growth, empathy for other viewpoints, and self-reflection.
Reflective Group Conversation
This worksheet can be used to guide critical thinking within a group.
This worksheet can be used in a discussion of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Use Media Literacy as a Teaching Strategy for Critical Thinking
Media Education Foundation
The Media Education Foundation offers educational videos on gender, health, race, and commercialism, as well as discussion guides promoting media literacy and critical thinking skills for all ages.
Adolescent Development Toolkit: Teens and Media
ACT for Youth links to media literacy and digital citizenship resources in this section of the Adolescent Development Toolkit.