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Think, Puzzle, Explore

Written by Buffy Hamilton
April 30, 2015

In January, Jennifer Lund and I met with two of our 11th grade language arts teachers to plan their upcoming research unit on sustainability. We wanted to do something fun and interesting to introduce the range of topics to students who would engage them and not begin with them just browsing the resources on the project LibGuide. We initially considered using the write-around strategy, but with so many sections of classes and possibilities for topics/subtopics, we felt the prep work involved was a bit overwhelming for the time we had available to get the materials together.

We decided to use another strategy, though, that involved thinking and writing called Think, Puzzle, Explore, a routine for learning that “sets the stage for deeper inquiry.” Since many teachers are utilizing strategies from Making Thinking Visible, we felt this would be the perfect learning structure to introduce 11th graders to sustainability topics. With Think, Puzzle, and Explore, students are asked to reflect and share:

1. What do you think you know about this topic?

2. What questions or puzzles do you have?

3. How can you explore this topic?