When students use new information, prior knowledge and their own experiences to debate a topic, generate a solution to a problem, or generate an opinion, we call this grappling. This practice asks the teacher to facilitate a higher level of thinking from students by posing a problem or question and presenting resources that challenge students to explore more than one solution or answer. The intended outcome of grappling is that students learn about the topic from a variety of perspectives, ask questions, generate their own opinions, and are able to defend their responses.
- Determine the bigger problem or question you want students to study and grapple with (using the state standards as your starting place)
- Research the topic and think about the possible solutions/answers to your problem or question. Gather resources that will give students background knowledge. Ask yourself: What information/resources would a student need to effectively grapple with the topic, question, or problem?
- Present the problem or question to students.
- Communicate expectations to students by sharing how they will be assessed.
- Guide student exploration by providing focused research, guiding questions, learning activities, and/or experiences. Be sure you present opportunities for students to arrive at more than one solution or answer. (See learning activity suggestions to the right)
- Assess student learning. Types of assessment can include written responses and:
- Generate a movie/documentary
- Craft an editorial
- Test the solution
- Write a letter to share opinions/ideas
- Start a campaign
- Role play