Got a Problem? Let's Solve It!
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify and research public or social issues in the community, nation or the world related to the common good. Form an opinion, and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
      3. Benchmark MS.4 Analyze information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to the common good.

In this lesson the learners will define problem solving and identify some problem solving approaches.  They will explore how individuals, groups, and organizations use problem solving approaches, especially as it applies to animal welfare and humane treatment, to address concerns and issues while promoting the common good.

PrintOne 45 to 50 minute class period.

The learner will:

  • define problem solving.
  • identify three approaches to problem solving and articulate their effectiveness in promoting the common good.
  • review/define the term common good.
  • student copies of handout Dear Abigail
  • student copies of handout  Three Approaches to Solving Problems 
  • Journals or writing paper
Home Connection: 

Encourage the learners to talk with their families about the three ways to problem solve. Ask them to encourage the adults in the family to share which approach might have been the best approach to take in the Dear Abigail example. As a part of their reflection, consider having the learners summarize these conversations in their journals.

  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Students read the handout Dear Abigail. and meet in groups to discuss problem solving.

  2. Ask each group to share the advice their group would offer in response to "Trying But Not Succeeding."

  3. Define problem solving, n.) the identification and application of knowledge and skills that result in goal attainment--reaching an agreement that promotes the common good. Define or review the term common good (That which results when individuals work together or as members of a group or organization for the greater benefit of all).

  4. Distribute Three Approaches to Solving Problems to each learner.

  5. Have the learners read the three problem solving approaches and identify what problem solving approaches "Trying But Not Succeeding" may have demonstrated.

  6. Now discuss the three or four pieces of advice from the class groups and determine which of the three approaches the class ideas represent.

  7. Challenge the class, through discussion, to identify advice that would represent a rational approach to this problem. 

  8. Conclude this lesson by having the learners discuss and then respond in writing in their journals to these two prompts: (1) How would using the rational approach in this situation demonstrate "Trying But Not Succeeding's" love for animals and a concern for their humane treatment? (2) How is the humane treatment and welfare of animals important to the common good?