Effective Practices


I-1, I-3, I-4, I-6, I-7



Presenting problems and/or questions that are either too general or too focused can pose a real challenge for students. Making either of these mistakes will mean that your students may not have the time or resources to complete the “grappling process” successfully.

Quick Tips

Consider having students work in pairs or groups. Exploring with peers encourages students to grapple with additional perspectives. 

Suggested Learning Activities:

  • Participate in field trips
  • Read a book
  • Write a news report/article
  • Research online
  • Conduct an interview
  • Bring in a guest speaker
  • Watch a video
  • Complete a graphic organizer
  • Test possible solutions
  • Generate questions
  • Gather evidence
  • Conduct a survey


Sample lessons-Debate Using Fairy Tales K-8

Perceptions of Students’ Learning Critical Thinking through Debate

Project Based Learning



Other Strategies

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered approach that engages and challenges students by using authentic problem solving and real problems. Consider having students work in pairs or groups. Exploring with peers encourages students to grapple with additional perspectives.

Classroom Debate

Students take opposing positions on a topic or issue. Teacher provides opportunities for students to research and learn about the topic/issue. Students then take a stand for one side or the other in a structured discussion over the topic where both sides have an equal opportunity to defend their position. Classroom debates provide students with opportunities to build their skills in leadership, team building, group problem solving, and oral presentation. Embedding debate skills into the curriculum increases student engagement and rigor.