– Thinking activities for younger learners
Brain Benders for Beginners! has been developed to enrich higher-order thinking skills in young children and build on their natural excitement for learning. Underpinned by the work of Bloom, Gardner, Dalton and Vygotsky, this lively book has been designed for children who are in their first years of school, although the open-ended nature of most of the problems makes them suitable for use with a wide variety of ages.
The topics for each activity sheet reflect the self-focused nature of young children by drawing upon their current knowledge and then encouraging them to look further. Each sheet is focused on one topic and contains three kinds of task:
- Sit and Think – incorporates philosophical/ critical thinking based on the higher levels of the revised Bloom’s taxonomy and creative thinking based on the cognitive skills of fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration.
- Go and Find Out – emphasises active enquiry process skills rather than research from written sources. Although students are required to produce answers, the educational objectives of these problems focus on the process of finding the solution rather than on the actual factual knowledge obtained.
- Make and Create – develops communication and presentation skills by requiring students to put their creative ideas into practice and create a finished product that demonstrates higher-level thinking.
Teachers can choose whether to present individual problems or the entire sheet. The resource comes with an extensive introduction for teachers.
About the author:
Teacher Helen Grimmett has written and edited several books for User Friendly Resources. She has obtained a Master of Education (Research) degree and this book combines her research knowledge with her many years of teaching experience to create a practical resource grounded in modern educational thinking.