August 20, 2015

Classroom Discussions on Real-Life Dilemmas

It's time to download your next set of 4 thinking strategies HERE.  This set includes the following thinking strategies:
*  Dependency-Inter-dependency
*  Design
*  Details
*  Dilemma

Each of these 4 strategies can be skillfully used to jump-start the thinking process.  I especially enjoyed discussing dilemmas with my gifted and talented students.  Here's a few examples.

 People everywhere face important dilemmas each day.  Making good decisions and weighing the outcome is a valuable skill for students to acquire.  Consider the following dilemmas.

  • In 1775, early settlers faced a dilemma when Lieutenant Moore, Commander of an armed British vessel demanded they load their lumber onto the ship to build barracks for the British troops in Boston.  If they refused, they faced hunger or even death but if they complied, they betrayed the American cause.  What should they do?
  • On a return journey, Christopher Columbus noticed that his compass headings did not agree with the sightings of the North Star (Polaris).  Should he trust the compass or have faith in his belief that Polaris is true north?  The wrong decision could send the fleet too far north into the cold and dangerous waters of the northern Atlantic. Which navigational tool would you trust?
  •  International trade is a growing industry. Large ships carrying cargo around the world must use ballast water to safely maneuver the vessel.  Ballast water transports organisms half a world away where the balance of predator and prey does not exist.  This dangerous practice is costing billions of dollars and contaminating food supplies.  What alternatives or solutions should be considered?


  1. WOW! This is utterly amazing... such a great find! Thinking strategies are so challenging to teach but you've opened up a method that is relatively pain free. Thanks so much for a great post! Blessings ~

  2. Very powerful for students to place themselves within the time period to think about and discuss the dilemmas of the day. Thank you for a great reminder as I greet my new students tomorrow morning!

  3. Love reading this! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I love that you're a gifted/talented teacher blogger. Your focus is clear and what you share is great content! Keep it up ;)