SEVEN STRATEGIES TO OPEN STUDENTS’ MINDS
1. Use hypothetical thinking:
· What if this had happened?
· What if this were not true?
· What if this had not occurred?
· What if I could do something I cannot do?
· What if I turn the picture upside down or sideways?
· What could have happened to cause this?
· How does this change if I go backwards?
· What if _______ had happened first?
Apply different symbol systems.
· Apply verbal symbol system to numerical symbol system problem.
· Graph or chart relationships in social situations or literary works.
· Write an equation to show how human interactions are related.
· Can I make this into a word problem?
· Can I make this into a number problem?
· Can I draw a picture of this?
· Can I represent this in musical terms?
· Can I act it out?
· Can I make a dance to represent this?
· Look for correspondences.
· How is this like ______________?
· “How is Pythagorean theorem like a cooking recipe?”
Analyze points of view.
· Why does someone hold a particular opinion or belief?
· What else could account for this?
· Who would benefit if I thought this?
· What harm might occur if __________?
· How many other ways could someone look at this?
· What would ______ say/think about this?
Use “completion” activities.
· Remove the conclusion from a short story and ask the students to create their own ending: How would you end the story?
· Tell the students that chapter one is about the Revolutionary War and Chapter three is about the Civil War. What might be in Chapter 2?
· Give the students the steps in a process or solution (to math problem, for example) with one or two steps missing. What’s missing?
· What goes in the blank space?
· What is the missing piece or step?
· Write the beginning of ____________.
· What if ____________ did not happen?
· Guide students toward reasonable answers; encourage a variety of answers.
Use web analysis.
· Web analysis is concerned with what actually happened, not with possibilities.
· Goal is to uncover the complex multitude of effects that may flow from a single source.
· How extensive were the effects of _______?
· How many effects can you imagine from ___?
· Track the relationship of events following from _________________.
· How is ________ connected to ________?
“Seven Strategies that Encourage Neural Branching,” Thomas Cardellichio and
Wendy Field, Educational Leadership Volume 54, No. 6, March 1997.
Act it/do it.