This is a lesson I taught towards the end of the 2012 school year. My aim was to connect two of the Australian Curriculum general capabilities. The lesson incorporated the Information and communication (ICT) capability with the Critical and creative thinking capability. More specifically I wanted the students to communicate ideas and feedback using ICT while operating ICT.
The objective of the lesson was to develop creative thinking. Students had five exercises to work through. These activities are not new. They have been used by many teachers who engage students in thinking skill development. For further information check out Habits of Mind and Michael Pohl Thinking Keys.
- Bar key – Choose any product. Make a part bigger, add a part and remove a part. Rename your invention.
- Commonalities key – What are the commonalities between a toothbrush and a car?
- Question key – The answer is inventor. What are the questions? Write 3 questions.
- The reverse key – What are 10 things you think an inventor would never do?
- What if key – What if you were an inventor. What would you invent and why?
The students worked cooperatively in groups of three on a MacBook. All groups had several minutes to respond to each exercise. The responses were recorded on a blog set up on a website.
Once all groups had typed in their responses, they had the opportunity to read the other responses. They were invited to give written feedback via the blog remembering to follow cyber etiquette rules.
The students did not have difficulty using the ICT to communicate as hey had prior experience, however on occasion when emotions ran high, some students chose to call across the room to another group to give their feedback. Interesting! In fact it got quite heated at times with activity 4 as they students had very strong opinions on this.
Below is a selection of the responses for exercise 2.
This lesson developed and rehearsed their general capabilities. Working in groups led to collaboration and connection. Students could help each other with the ICT skills, the literacy and the thinking skills. It also reduced anxiety about giving answers in an online forum.
One young boy, who is generally very competitive, expressed positive delight in working with a different group of students and said he didn’t realise there were such friendly, cooperative students in our class. A great outcome for him, and a reminder that I should regularly change the composition of cooperative groups.
This post was submitted by Trish at Mawson Primary School. If you'd like to share your school's story with us, get in touch!