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Creative Problem Solving


Lesson Plan
Social Studies
6
50-75 minutes (1-1 class periods)
Kristin Evans

Instructional Unit Content


Standard(s)/Element(s)
Content Area Standard
SS6H2 The student will explain the development of Latin America and the Caribbean from
European colonies to independent nations.
c. Explain the Latin American independence movement; include the importance of
Toussaint LOuverture, Simon Bolivar, and Miguel Hidalgo.

TAG Standard
Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
2. The student designs, applies, evaluates, and adapts a variety of innovative strategies
to when problem solving (e.g., recognizes problems, defines problems, identifies
possible solutions, selects optimal solution, implements solution, and evaluates
solution).
3. The student incorporates brainstorming and other idea-generating techniques to solve
problems or create new products.
Summary/Overview
The focus of this lesson is to creatively identify and solve the conflict between the Spanish
colonial government and its colonies, focusing on South American independence
movements.

Enduring Understanding(s)
Essential Question(s)
How do socioeconomic and ethnic factors affect independence movements?

Evidence of Learning
At the end of this lesson, the student will KNOW
a. Simon Bolivar was the leader of independence movements across South America,
including in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador
b. Bolivar struggled in his early years to unite South America against the Spanish due
to varying political ideals and ethnic and economic divides between Criollos and
mestizos.
At the end of this lesson, the student will UNDERSTAND
a. Bolivar was able to successfully unite South American countries against the Spanish
long enough to become independent, but was unable to create lasting nationalism
At the end of this lesson, the student will DO
a. incorporate brainstorming and other idea-generating techniques to solve problems or
create new products.
b. design, apply, evaluate, and adapt a variety of innovative strategies to when problem
solving (e.g., recognizes problems, defines problems, identifies possible solutions,
selects optimal solution, implements solution, and evaluates solution).

Suggested Vocabulary

Hacienda
Criollo
Mestizo
royalist
social pyramid
nationalism

Procedure(s)
Phase 1: Hook
1. Students will participate in a Guided Imagery Exercise. Students will record and discuss
feelings that result from the guided imagery.
Phase 2: Examine the Content
2. Mess: Distribute the South American Mess of 1811-1819 packet. Students will read the
mess individually.
3.

Students will work in small group to list all the facts and opinions obtained from the
2

reading. Each group will generate a list of unanswered questions to research in class
using their personal technology.
Phase 3: Creative Problem Solving
4.

Review the Rules of Brainstorming: 1) Go for quantity. 2) Wild and crazy ideas are
okay. 3) Piggy-back on the ideas of others. 4) No judgmentpositive or negative.

5.

Problem-Finding: Each group will brainstorm the problems seen as a result of the mess.
Opportunity is provided for grouping of similar problems and selecting from the top
three. From the top three problems, each group will develop a solvable problem
statement beginning with How might we REMEDIATION: Developing a problem
statement is going to be critical to student success on this lesson. Teacher should go over
the question stem statement before students begin to brainstorm and should monitor
groups. Teacher should particularly guide students towards questions that address big
picture ideas (ethnic/political/economic tensions and barriers to South American
nationalism) rather than small picture ideas (Bolivar should be nicer,etc).

6.

Idea-Finding: Each group will brainstorm solutions to the problem statement.


Opportunity is provided for grouping of similar problems and selecting from the top five.

7.

Solution-Finding: Each group will develop criteria to evaluate the five solutions and
use a decision-making grid to determine the best solution. Opportunity is provided for
research using personal technology to make valid evaluations against the criteria.
Specifically,

8.

Acceptance-Finding: Each group will develop an action plan for implementing the
solution.

Phase 4: Synthesis Activity


9.

DIFFERENTIATION: Each group will develop a product (e.g., persuasive letter, poster,
speech, etc.) for sharing its solution with the citizens of South America.

Summarizing Activity
Shapely Debrief
In regards to independence movements across South America

Something I learned that squares with my beliefs (I believe to be true)


Three points to remember
One question still going around in my mind
EXTENSION: Does Bolivars idea of a united South America exist today or are countries
like Venezuela and Colombia still divided based on ethnic, political, or economic lines?

Students can use personal technology or take this question home to research further.
Resource(s):
Simon Bolivar Reading Passage Lesson: Social Studies Informational Text ADE Content
Specialists
http://www.azed.gov/wp-content/uploads/PDF/SimonBolivarLesson.pdf
Anchor Text(s):
Technology:
Websites and multiple resources for researchstudent personal technology.
Handouts:
Handout 1:
Handout 2:
Handout 3:
Handout 4:

Hook- Guided Imagery Exercise


South American Mess of 1811-1819 Packet
Rules of Brainstorming
Shapely Debrief