In the middle of the page — and this is why it's called "Gap Fill In" — students write down all of the steps they took to arrive at that answer.
It gives insight into a person's train of thought and how they came to their conclusion, additionally opening opportunities for more innovative, but also structured, thinking patterns.
Placing emphasis on how a student backs up what they believe, and not "the answer," takes pressure off of a student to get the "right" answer — or what they think the teacher wants to hear.
For instance, the goal might be to create a contraption with pipes, rubber tubing and pieces of cardboard that can carry a marble from point A to point B in a certain number of steps, using only gravity. It’s a Mystery Many children (and grown-ups) enjoy a good mystery, so why not design one that must be solved cooperatively? In order to solve the mystery — say, the case of the missing mascot — children must work together to solve the clues in order.
The “case” might require them to move from one area of the room to the next, uncovering more clues. 4-Way Tug-of-War That playground classic is still a hit — not to mention inexpensive and simple to execute.
Below are some activities to help teachers incorporate curiosity, evidence, and critical thinking into their classrooms.
Students are shown a picture, projected in the front of the room, if possible.
The Worst-Case Scenario Fabricate a scenario in which students would need to work together and solve problems to succeed, like being stranded on a deserted island or getting lost at sea.
Ask them to work together to concoct a solution that ensures everyone arrives safely.
This, in turn, encourages students to be creative with their thinking.
Through emphasis on evidence, teachers can facilitate an environment where deep, critical thinking and meta cognition are the norm.