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Solving the Problem

This modelling the tools is incorporated into critical challenges at Kindergarten, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.


Session Three

Introduce the newcomer scenario.

  • Using a real situation, a storybook or a hypothetical scenario, present to the class the predicament of a person who is new to the school or community. In the case of an actual newcomer to the school, introduce this discussion before the student arrives. If using a hypothetical scenario, develop a set of problematic circumstances, as suggested by the following example:

Kamik is eight years old. He has just moved here from a very small town in the far north of Canada. He is not used to living in a community with lots of other people and he misses his friends and the open spaces of his former home. The games he played at school are very different from the ones played at our school.

Present the critical challenge.

  • As a class, identify and make a list of the problems that the newcomer is encountering. Invite students to work individually or with a partner to address the critical challenge:

Select the best way to assist with one of the difficulties faced by a newcomer to the class or the community.

    Explain to students that they should think of three possible solutions to the problem they identified. If appropriate, answer the critical challenge as a class or collectively brainstorm possible solutions for each of the identified problems. Distribute a copy of Identifying Solutions to each student or pair of students. Direct them to identify, on the top of the sheet, the problem they have selected and to draw pictures of and, if able, label their three possible solutions. Encourage students to consult the class list of suggested solutions to Saoussan's difficulties, since some of these ideas may apply to the new scenario. When students have identified and drawn the possible solutions, invite them to consider which of their three options best meets the agreed-upon criteria. If students are uncertain, guide them in their analysis by posing questions about each option's fulfillment of each criterion; e.g., Does this solution respect the person's feelings? Help with the person's problem? When students have selected their best response, invite them to record its number in the box, at the bottom of the page, and to explain why this option is a good choice.


  • Ask students, in turn, to pretend they are the newcomer to their classroom. Explain that the student who is acting as the newcomer does not know what to do in the classroom. Introduce the newcomer and identify one of this person's difficulties. Ask students who addressed this particular problem to role-play a proposed solution. Encourage the newcomer to respond, in role, to the helping action. Invite students to consider how well each helping action meets the agreed-upon criteria. If this challenge involves an actual newcomer, decide as a class before the newcomer arrives which, if any, of the proposed actions will actually be implemented and by whom.


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Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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