This activity aims to teach students the benefits of using the tool of “ladder of inference” through role-play in order to gain a better understanding of the way we think, draw conclusions and perceive different issues in our lives and in the world. The activity focuses on the central conflict in the short story “The Split Cherry Tree” by Jesse Stuart; The conflict between two opposing worldviews: traditionalism and modernism. Each one of the main characters represents a different worldview. The conflict in the story resolves when one of the characters listens, understands, and uses persuasion skills while the other inquires, listens, and shows openness to understand and to change.
Using the text, The Treasure of Lemon Brown, Students practice the three skills (listening, acknowledgment, and inquiry), and then they role-play the characters in order to bring the conflict between them into life. Students who play each character are going to try to understand the other’s point of view and eventually get to a resolution.
An Inquiry and Opinion activity using The Cat in the Hat. For small groups of 4th – 6th grade English Speakers, this is an activity to practice the Negotiation Skill of Inquiry and the English language skill of Oral Proficiency / Social Interaction, specifically, Expressing an Opinion. I will use the PATHWAYS Vocabulary Sentence Stems for inquiry and expressing an opinion, and a classic, rhyming children’s book.
Using a “four corners” activity, we learn why we each hold our own positions on statements and discuss them using vocabulary that can help us make inquiry, acknowledgement, and advocacy statements. The activity starts off generic and is then used to help review All My Sons. (This activity can be adapted to be used for any literary piece where characters have conflicts with one another, or it can be done without the literature component as a speaking activity using generic controversial topics.)
This is a follow up activity after studying the short story Eveline by James Joyce. Based on the Seven Elements of Negotiation and Pathways sentence stems (inquiry, acknowledgement and advocacy), students are asked to create scenes between Eveline, Frank and Eveline’s father to discuss and resolve their conflicts.
Asking questions is an integral part of the critical thinking pedagogy. Using literature encourages students to ask key questions that enable them to locate themselves in the thought of another and to find more information about the literary piece. In this activity, students use the poem to interview the poet and practice asking inquiry questions about the content of the poem. Thus, the objective of this activity is to teach students inquiry and empathy skills.