Living in an information rich age, there is now a huge emphasis on what our students are able to do with that all of that information that will help them be successful global citizens. Within the Common Core State Standards, students are expected to develop the ability to solve problems, reason and make decisions in regards to complex problems and questions.
4th Grade Next Gen
Encompassing all four C's, but especially critical thinking, fourth grade Next Gen scaled an adaption of The Three Little Pigs challenge that first grade and Kindergarten did.
However to encourage high level critical thinking, the teams were were introduced to new and more challenging elements throughout the design and creation process. First, they were given supplies, then later a budget with which they had purchase those supplies from Pig Depot introducing elements of math and economics into the project. Then they tested their prototype with a small hairdryer but were later introduced to the Bigger Badder Fan that their design really had to withstand to be considered successful. And their design had to be realistic as the driving question that the students came up with was "How can we design a structure that can withstand strong hurricane or tornado force winds?".
The students tied this assignment to writing, literature, science, math, social studies
Common Core State Standards Used
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.
Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale.