How Do You Solve a Problem?
Students will be able to identify the problem, solution, and how the characters try to solve the problem.
- Draw a T-Chart on the board, and label the columns as Problem and Solution.
- Record an example of a problem and its solution. For example, "A problem is that you spilled your drink in the kitchen. The solution would be that you cleaned it up with a paper towel."
- Invite students to offer scenarios with a problem and solution to add to the chart.
- Share that the objective of today’s lesson is to identify the problem and solution in the text, while focusing on the ways in which the characters try to solve the problem throughout the story.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Review the definition of problem, which is something a character wants to figure out, change, or fix, and solution, which is the way a problem is solved. Point out that a solution is only reached when the characters attempt to do things to solve it. An attempt is when you try to do or accomplish something.
- Display a copy of the Graphic Organizer: Problem & Solution worksheet. Tell the class that you will model how to complete the graphic organizer while reading aloud a story that has a problem, solution, and many attempts to solve the problem.
- Read aloud Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey, or another story with a clear problem and solution structure, and model filling out the graphic organizer. Identify the main problem as the fact that the dog has bad breath. Ask students to give a thumbs up or down if they agree.
- Model thinking aloud about any other problems that exist in the story. Point out that the parents want to get rid of the dog. Think aloud about the kids’ attempts to get rid of the bad breath and save their dog. (The kids took the dog to the top of the mountain, to an exciting movie, and to the carnival.)
- Go over the solution to the problems and record it in the graphic organizer. Ask students to give a thumbs up or down if they agree or disagree with the information that is in the graphic organizer.
- Have students talk to their shoulder partners to discuss the definitions of the three key terms that were the focus of the read aloud. Remind them that all good stories have problems and solutions, and that the characters’ attempts to solve the problem are often the important events in the story.
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Distribute a copy of the Graphic Organizer: Problem & Solution worksheet to each student and display it on the document camera. Share that you will read aloud A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon, or another book with a clear problem and solution structure.
- Stop periodically throughout the read aloud for students to suggest information to put on the graphic organizer, but do not finish the entire book. Call on a nonvolunteer to rephrase a peer’s answer, and then agree or disagree if that is correct information. Record answers on the teacher copy of the worksheet.
- Complete the read aloud and have students work in small groups to complete the graphic organizer. Share out as a class and record answers on the teacher copy of the worksheet.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Distribute a copy of Reading Comprehension: Problem and Solution 2 and another copy of the Graphic Organizer: Problem & Solution worksheet to each student.
- Explain that they will read the story independently and complete the graphic organizer based on the text. Note that they will not complete the questions on the Reading Comprehension: Problem and Solution 2 worksheet right now.
- Circulate and offer feedback while students work independently. If students finish early, allow them to complete the comprehension questions on the Reading Comprehension: Problem and Solution 2 worksheet.
- Include visuals with the definitions of the key terms.
- Read aloud the text on the independent work with struggling readers.
- Have students color code the text to visualize the problem, attempts, and solutions.
- Challenge advanced students to collaborate to write a story with a problem and solution. Have them include at least three attempts to solve the problem. Allow them to share their stories with others and have them identify the key components (problem, attempts, solution).
- Give each individual a half-sheet of blank paper and instruct them to divide it into three sections. Have them label the first section Problem, the second section Attempt, and the third section Solution.
- Direct the students to draw the problem, attempt, and solution from the story they read in their independent work.
Review and closing(2 minutes)
- Allow students to share their Exit Ticket drawings with the class, and encourage them to use the key terms that were defined earlier in the lesson.
- Remind learners that the problem in a story is solved when the characters attempt to solve it. When they are successful, the solution is reached. Often times, the characters make many attempts to solve a problem, and they are usually the big, important events in the story.