To start this lesson, I ask the class to help me brainstorm all the ways in which we solve problems. I have to prompt them through how we do this and when this might happen. I find giving them a scenario is a great way to prompt their thinking. For example, I ask them how they problem solve when they do not have a pencil. This goes over class procedures that are new as well.
This lesson is one I have used from the internet and here is the link to another way in which the lesson is conducted.
I place students in teams of two and have them collect the materials they will need. Each team will need one gummy worm, one gummy life saver, four paper clips, and a plastic cup. Once they have the materials I ask the teams to place the life saver under the cup and the worm on top. I explain that the worm on top is Fred. He has fallen out of his boat and is need of saving.
The pair will need to not let Fred fall off the cup, and get the life saver and place it on Fred. They can only touch the paper clips and can not use the paper clips to injure the life saver or Fred. They will need to start all of this by creating a plan by working together to write one. Once they have written their plan, they need to review it with me and then try to save Fred.
When we have had time to conduct a few different strategies we need to share what we learned. I ask the class to discuss with me how their problem solving worked out for them. I prompt and elaborate where I can. I then ask them to write a reflection on the process and what they learned from the experiment so I can assess where they are at in the problem solving phase.