3. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Students as inquirers frame, analyze, and synthesize information as well as negotiate meaning across language and culture in order to explore problems and issues from their own and different perspectives.
Samples of Cover Letters

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Add your examples here. Please follow the format of the examples above. Place each example in the correct proficiency level and make sure to indicate which mode(s) the example is in.

City, State,
zip code
Level, Language
Novice Proficiency
Range Example
Intermediate Proficiency
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Advanced Proficiency
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Recommended Tools and Resources
Matamata College
French junior but especially senior
using SOLO TAXONOMY look at their own daily routine and then at the daily routine of a child from the 1/3 world. such activity brings differentiation in the class.

Lisa Lilley
Central H.S.
Springfield, MO
Level 2-3 Spanish

Students begin with background info. about the Maya, how they recorded information in codices, and possible reasons for the fall of their civilization. Then they role play archaeologists who receive a box of "artifacts" (random items from garage sales, dollar stores) that give potential clues to the habits of a recently discovered civilization in the jungles of Mesoamerica. Students record their findings about what the people used to do using the imperfect tense or could express conjecture using the conditional tense. Categories could include education, diet, social structure, transportation, etc. (Interpretative, Interpersonal, Presentational)

PowerPoint or article about Maya civilization and codices
Greta Lundgaard
Plano ISD
Plano, Tx 75075
all languages
whole group collaboration to collect 3 most important things to know/do to be successful at home campus; view target culture video clips (level appropriate); collect data on important facts re: target culture schools. In small groups, define 3 critical (not trivial) ways target culture campus/school differs from home campus culture. Each small group writes list/records pod cast/develops pptgiving tips on what the target culture student will need to know/be aware of to have success at home campus. (Interpretive; Presentational)
small groups (same task) write letter/develop video/record pod cast making recommendations by comparing contrasting target culture school routines & norms with home school culture routines & norms. (Interpretive; Presentational)

web based video clips - target culture schools, schooling, daily school routines, etc
Kelley Parkhurst
Thompson Valley High School
Loveland, CO 80537
Level IV Spanish
With the job title omitted, students read various job/career ads and then match the appropriate job title to the ad.

Students are divided into groups. Each group is asked to investigate 3-5 different career/job sites and identify the jobs and careers that are in high demand in a particular city, region, or country. Students present their findings to the class.
(Interpretive, presentational)
Students examine a variety of CVs (resumes)
from Internet sites. They are asked to identify possible jobs/careers that the CV writer(s)
might apply for.

Using an Internet
CV (resume) site, students fill in a CV template according to a job/career they might have at some time in the future.

Students write a cover letter in which they "apply for" a prospective job.

Students organize a class job/career fair, alternately playing the roles of interviewer and interviewee.
(Interpretive, Presentational,
Via a class wikispace/website,
students pose questions to Spanish-speaking students of similar age range--using advanced-level, complex structures to inquire about students' prospective career choices, goals.
Internet sites;
Barbara Lindsey
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269
All languages & levels (some workaround needed for Chinese, not sure how Arabic works)
Using a word cloud generator, present students with a graphic visualization of a text (poem, song, rhyme, fable) and have them predict (whole class, groups or pairs) the main theme, idea or key concepts. This could be used to introduce a topic, as a end of unit review, or as a warm up for the start of the class. This is also a great way to provide differentiated instruction. (Interpretive)
Students can import their essays and reports into a word cloud generator as a way to evaluate their writing for redundancy of common words, clarity of key message, etc. They could also do this in pairs and evaluate each others' work in this way and use a word cloud of their final product to introduce their presentation. (Interpretive, Interpersonal, Presentational)

Prior to introducing a particular cultural topic, ask students to predict/share their ideas about that topic. Generate a word cloud from their ideas and share with the class. Have students repeat this process after exploring the topic and have them compare their pre- and post-predictions.
Students can use a word cloud generator as a tool to analyze either segments of or entire TL texts. They can begin with an initial question or discover a question they have, for example, how the use of verb tense/modality informs Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis' (this and other original texts in the public domain can be found on sites such as Project Gutenberg). Students can then write an analysis based on the patterns they perceive.
(Interpretive, Presentational)
For how-tos, suggestions and other resources: MoreThanWordles by Jen Wagner

Tom Barrett's Interesting Ways to use Wordle in the Classroom

Word Cloud generators:

Literature in the public domain:
Project Gutenberg