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Creative Problem Solving


Lesson Plan
Social Studies
4
2+ Hours
Lindsey Fredette

Instructional Unit Content


Standard(s)/Element(s)
Content Area Standard
SS4H6 The student will explain westward expansion of America between 1801 and
1861.
a. Describe territorial expansion with emphasis on the Louisiana Purchase, the
Lewis and Clark expedition, and the acquisitions of Texas (the Alamo and
independence), Oregon (Oregon Trail), and California (Gold Rush and the
development of mining towns).
c. Describe the impact of westward expansion on Native Americans.
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 (synectics,
SCAMPER, etc.) to solve problems or create new products.
Summary/Overview
The focus of this lesson is to creatively identify and solve the issue of how to begin exploring
the western part of the United States.

Enduring Understanding(s)
At the end of this lesson the student will understand
a. How Jefferson decided to send Lewis and Clarke out west to explore.
b. Many problems and solutions can be attributed to the same set of events.

Essential Question(s)
How did the exploration of the west begin?
Concept(s) to Maintain
Thomas Jeffersons impact on the history of the United States.
The Rules of Brainstorming
Evidence of Learning
What students should know:
a. Thomas Jefferson was elected president of the United States.
b. Jefferson acquired a great deal of land in 1803 from France.
c. Lewis and Clark traveled west with the help of Sacagewea.
What students should be able to do:
a. 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).
b. incorporate brainstorming and other idea-generating techniques (synectics,
SCAMPER, etc.) to solve problems or create new products.
Suggested Vocabulary

westward expansion
Louisiana Purchase

Procedure(s)
Phase 1: Hook
1. Students will participate in a Guided Imagery Exercise. Students will record and discuss
initial thoughts from the question posed at the end of the exercise: What should Thomas
Jefferson do to help his citizens travel the country safely after the Louisiana Purchase?
Phase 2: Examine the Content
2. Read the Introduction to Westward Expansion. Between 1803 and 1840, something
happened to make the land west of the Mississippi safe for travel. What do you think that
Jefferson decided to do to help make the land safe for travelers?
3.

Students will work in small group to list all the facts and opinions obtained from the
reading. Each group will generate a list of unanswered questions to research for
homework or in the media center.

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 by Thomas Jefferson
after the Louisiana Purchase. 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

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 solutions and use a
decision-making grid to determine the best solution. Opportunity is provided for
research to make valid evaluations against the criteria.

8.

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

Phase 4: Synthesis Activity


9.

Each individual will write a letter to Thomas Jefferson persuading him of their solution.

Summarizing Activity
Shapely Debrief
In regards to the westward expansion of the United States
Something I learned that squares with my beliefs
Three points to remember
One question still going around in your mind
Anchor Text(s):
Technology:
Websites and multiple resources for research for a variety of reading level.

Guided Imagery
Imagine that you are Thomas Jefferson in 1804. Your life has been one that you
can be proud of. You wrote the Declaration of Independence. You attended the
Constitutional Convention and helped to create the written plan for the
government of this country. You were elected president. Now, thanks to the
Louisiana Purchase, you have just DOUBLED the size of your country. The
problem is you dont know what exists past the Mississippi River. You have
heard terrible stories of attacks from Native Americans and new and exotic
wildlife. As much as you would like to go, as president, your job is to stay and
take care of your country. You can go down in history as one of most influential
presidents this country has ever had if you can figure out a way to get the
citizens of your country to safely travel past the Mississippi River.
The question is. What do you do?

Fact Finding
Record all the important facts from the article.

What is one unanswered question that you have from the passage?

Problem Solving
What are all of the problems that Thomas Jefferson may have had after the Louisiana
Purchase?

What are the top 3 problems that you see?

Idea Solving
What are all of the ways that you can think of that Thomas Jefferson mightve solved
the problem of the new land that he got in the Louisiana Purchase?

What are the top 3 solutions that you see?

Solution Finding
Pick one solution and write a paragraph explaining why you believe that this
solution is the best solution for this problem.

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Acceptance Finding
Develop an action plan for your solution.
Who will be involved?

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What will be the steps that you take? Write them down in chronological order.

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Create a timeline showing the process of your solution

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Creative Problem Solving Product


Write a letter to Thomas Jefferson telling him the good news! You have a
solution to his problem!

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Shapely Debrief
1. Something I learned that squares with my beliefs
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2. Three points to remember
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3. One question still going around in your mind
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