Generating Ideas by Categorizing/Classifying Our Life

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SWBAT generate ideas for their text structures project by thinking about different categories of things in their lives.

Big Idea

Classify Your Problems

Lesson Opener

5 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect:  I will say, “Yesterday we generated or brainstormed ideas about possible inventions or business ideas by thinking of daily annoyances or problems in our lives. Today we are going to think of categories in our lives for more ideas for our research.

Teach: I will say, I am going to practice the skill of generating ideas for our text structures project. I am going to use the strategy of using a two colum chart (Category in My Life/Problem with this category/Idea for an Invention or Business). The process I will use is as follows:

 1) Brainstorm with class about different categories/classifications in our lives

2) Ask myself: What are problems or daily annoyances in these categories? 

3) What are inventions or business ideas I could develop to improve this category in my life .”

I will have students do a class-wide brainstorm about catagories or classifications in their lives; sports, schools, family, eating, sleeping, etc. I will jot down a column chart category/problems/inventions and jot down ideas that would connect to kids. For example, I could jot down, Food (category), I don’t like to cook (problem) and “rent-a-chef,”as a business idea. 

Active Engagement

10 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “Now you are going to write this chart in your notebook and jot down at least 3 ideas you have.” Depending on engagement, they will work individually or with a group. I will check for understanding by asking every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard) for their ideas. I will ensure that students are jotting down ideas that will help come up with an actual idea that could be made into an invention or business.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers practice the skill of generating ideas for their essay by categorizing or classifying their lives. They use the strategy of using an organizational chart. The process they use is as follows: they use resources, they ask themselves: “What are problems or daily annoyances in these categories?  ” and they jot down their ideas that would be solutions to the problem.

Independent Practice

25 minutes

Independent Practice: Students will be then be directed to write about one more possible invention/business idea by using the cause and effect text structure. I will give them the following prompts:

“My problem is…..”

“(Transition Word), _________ would cause people to use___________

“(Transition Word), ________the effect of my invention on people would be………

After about 5 minutes of writing, I will stop and ask students to remember to add high level transition words (they were using low level ones on the last essay) and vocabulary words we have learned. Here is how I organized cause and effect writing. After I interrupt them I am expecting at least a page of three paragraphs. 


5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.

For closing today I will ask, “Write down your best idea yet that could really be made

  1. What problem are you solving?
  2. What will cause people to use your invention?
  3. What will be the effect of this invention?”