Overview: In this lesson students will explore the notion of how people often subconsciously limit their perspective. By engaging in a short puzzle task students will be challenged to think outside the box to come up with creative and alternative solutions.
Time: 10-15 minutes depending on discussion
Activity (Methodology): Worksheet
- Connect the Dots Handout (one per student)
- Pencil with Eraser (one per student)
- Connect the Dots Answer Sheet
Applicable Content Areas: Applicable in a wide variety of content areas, especially those that require creative and out of the box thinking to solve a problem.
After this lesson, students will be able to:
• Describe how subconscious assumptions often limit people’s perspectives.
• Explain the value of considering multiple perspectives in challenging situations.
Getting Started: Distribute the Connect the Dots Handout to each student.
1. Begin by allowing students 3-5 minutes complete the puzzle following the directions on the handout: “Connect all of the dots using only four straight lines. Do not lift your pencil off the paper. Do not retrace any line. Lines may cross if necessary”.
NOTE: Be sure to direct student who may already know the answer or figure out the solution before time is up to turn their paper over so others cannot see.
2. When time is up, have participants put down their pencils and ask if anyone has found the solution. If so, ask them to share the solution with the group. If not, demonstrate using the provided Connect the Dots Answer Sheet.
Discussion/Follow-up: This short lesson is intended to demonstrate how difficult it can be to get outside of our usual way of thinking and shift our point of view. To solve the problem, students had to literally think outside the box and extend their lines beyond the grid of dots. Consider using the following questions to debrief the activity further:
• Why do you think that most of us did think of going outside the boundaries to solve the problem?
• What other situations may require this type of thinking? Explain.
• How does this way of thinking apply when interacting with people from different backgrounds and different cultures?
Virtual Implementation: This lesson can be easily conducted in a virtual format using the platform Flipgrid. The teacher can record the puzzle instructions and reflection questions in the assigned video prompt. Student can then either download the worksheet digitally or recreate the puzzle on a separate sheet of paper, eventually posting a response video showing their result and answering a few reflection questions.