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# Problem/Solution Matchup

### Description

This activity encourages students to think about the content of what they are learning through the lens of problem/solution.  They examine a set of “puzzle pieces,” half of them problems, and half of them solutions, all representing texts or topics recently read or studied.  They work to match the problems with the solutions.
This activity can work to review the plot of novels or short stories, sequences of historical events, and processes/events in science

### Learning Strategies

• Connecting
• Determining Importance

### Lesson Plan Stages

• Investigation

### Content Areas

• ELA
• Math
• Science
• Social Studies

• Numeracy

### Common Core Instructional Shifts

• Building Knowledge in the Discipline

### Preparation

• Identify a set of texts, topics, or events that you want students to review.  Consider the problems/solutions in these texts/topics/events.
• Create a puzzle piece template by dividing a regular piece of paper with a jigsaw-puzzle shaped line.  Create multiple copies of this template.  On each template, write a problem on the left-hand side, and a solution on the right-hand side.  Make sure to leave out give-away identifying information such as character names or locations.  Many enough copies for each student or each group.  Then, cut apart the puzzle pieces.
Activity Steps
1. Teacher reviews the concept of problem/solution

Discuss how problem/solution can help students recall sequence/chronology, and how it ties in to understanding character motivation/intention.

2. Students get into pairs or small groups. Teacher gives a set of puzzle pieces to each group.

Depending on the scope of the topics/texts covered, you may want to list them as a reference for students.

3. Students read through the problem/solution puzzle pieces, discuss what they refer to, and discuss which solutions solve which problems. Students match up puzzle piece pairs.
Circulate among groups, asking students about what they are noticing and thinking.
Some pieces may be both a solution, and a new problem, especially in the context of a novel or history.  Discuss these complexities with students as they arise.
4. Teacher leads students in a discussion, reviewing problems/solutions, and considering how they fit into the context of the texts/topics covered.