*This lesson coincides with chapter 1, the right answer, from A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech.
Lesson written by: Krystle Borgman
Grade level range: 3-8
Length of time to teach lesson: 15-20 minutes
Summary of lesson: Students will be given a paper with five figures on it. They will be asked to identify which figure does not belong in the group. They will choose the figure and justify their answer. A class discussion follows with an understanding of how there are many right answers if you can justify your thinking.
Objectives (Learning targets) of this lesson: We can use creativity to discover if there is only one right answer to the question at hand. We will work on our speaking and listening skills during our class discussion.
Step-by-step teaching instructions for your activity/lesson:
1) Give each student one copy of the handout.
2) Without talking with one another, ask the students to decide which figure does not belong in the group and to justify their answer.
3) Give the students 3-5 minutes to decide and justify their answer.
4) After, take a tally on the whiteboard of how many people chose each shape.
5) Ask the students, “Which shape is the correct answer?”
6) Have them discuss in their team, sharing their justifications.
7) Ask the students again if they know what the correct answer is. Listen to student responses.
8) Have a class discussion about how there can be more than one correct answer, in this situation and in countless others - the key is justifying your answer.
9) Encourage students to think outside of the box and to question things while being creative!
Special Notes from the creator of this lesson: This can be a one day mini lesson or it can be examined over a larger amount of time with different examples. It can also be used as an introduction to classification used in beginning geometry.
Assessment: Use rubric for students to assess one another or teacher can use to assess student's creativity/collaboration.