Problem Solving

The Problem Solving Skills Facilitator Guide is a collection of step-by-step instructions for teaching 33 cognitive skills activities (625 minutes) to groups of youth and adults.

The air conditioner's condensation pipe is clogged with mineral deposits causing water to drip from the overflow pan located inside the fan assembly in the garage. A bucket is used to catch the water, but that doesn't work. The water runs down the wall and not into the bucket. How can the water be channeled into the bucket until a repairman comes? There are all kinds of problems to solve. Some problems are out of our control such as war, some disease, and natural disasters. Some problems can be avoided or lessened if there is adequate forethought and preparation. For example, if we live in an area that is prone to tornadoes, we can ensure our safety if we build a storm cellar. Some problems are of a personal nature. Perhaps there is a breakdown in communication resulting in a misunderstanding. Maybe one of the individuals involved is confused due to stress or illness, or one feels overwhelmed or inadequate. There may be a difference of opinion. There may not be enough information or the information may be wrong. Perhaps hidden feelings are revealed after the situation is looked at more closely and there is a change in perspective after thinking about something for awhile. Maybe there is a dilemma and no one can be a winner. Other problems, such as the clogged air conditioner pipe, are mechanical, scientific or mathematical. Activity Titles

  1. Monster Problems
  2. Personal Problem Collage
  3. Characteristics of a Problem
  4. Swatting Flies
  5. Seeing the Whole Picture
  6. Word Association
  7. Stop and Think
  8. What’s Wrong Here?
  9. Problem Sources
  10. Making Accurate Observations
  11. Dealing with Details
  12. What’s Different Here?
  13. What Did I See?
  14. Cops and Robbers
  15. Brainstorming Solutions
  16. Thinking of Possibilities
  17. Educated Decisions
  18. Gathering Information
  19. Not Enough Information
  20. Is It Reliable?
  21. Where Information Comes From
  22. Is It True or False?
  23. The Three Goblets Mystery
  24. Anagrams
  25. Kaleidoscope
  26. What Are My Choices?
  27. Problem Solving Steps
  28. Your Mind’s Eye
  29. Visual Attention
  30. Sprouting Spatial Ability
  31. Left Brain: Describing Objects
  32. Right Brain: Stimulating Spatial Neurons
  33. Finding Solutions


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