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*This lesson coincides with Break Time from A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech.
Lesson written by: Anne Lenhares and Toni Nielsen
Grade level range: 1-12
Length of time to teach lesson: 10 minutes, actual brain break will vary depending on age of participant
Overview of lesson: Taking a mental break is a way to “get out of a rut”. When you have been working on a problem or project for a time, and you get stuck, it’s ok to take a break. Working various areas of the brain and body will help unlock stored information and help you solve problems.
Objectives (learning targets) of this lesson: I can use a plethora of techniques to re-energize my problem solving center.
Supplies: Activity page 120 Lateral Thinking Problems Four Exercises which is similar to Stories With Holes: http://jcescgifted.weebly.com/uploads/7/9/0/2/7902434/nathan_levy_-_stories_with_holes_-_volume_13.pdf
And “Move It,” an app in Chrome Web Store.
Step-by-step teaching instructions: Ask students, “Has there ever been a time you have worked on a problem for so long, you just can’t solve it? That’s when you need to STOP.” Provide students with a scenario from Stories with Holes or the situations outlined in Break time from A Whack on the side of the Head. Try to find one possible explanation for the statement from the story or situation. Be aware of the computer screen. When Move It pops up….you need to Move It and then go back to your problem. This is just one way to take a break. Have students discuss other productive ways to take breaks when working or solving problems.
Assessment: Students can create their own brain breaks. For elementary school students, click here for a rubric to provide guidance. For secondary students, here is a rubric for students/teachers to use to help students assess when they may need a brain break and how to develop an appropriate one for different situations.