Globe and Mail writer, Doug Saunder’s article “The real reasons why migrants risk everything for a new life elsewhere” is a great challenging read for senior students. It addresses stereotypes, requires critical thinking about the voices not heard in most news reporting and encourages further curiosity and research.
I find students respond really well to ideas that challenge conventional wisdom. This article encourages its readers to rethink what they “know” about migrants from African nations trying to reach Europe. This Google Docs version of the article includes some response / analysis prompts: close reading task.
We all wear emotional, psychological blinders that help us to make sense of the world, but also limit our understanding of the world. This article describes eight common psychological traps that prevent us from fully and accurately understanding our world.
8 Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day and How to Prevent Them
Challenge students to analyze how an author has created characters that illustrate these cognitive mistakes, or how these cognitive mistakes have contributed to the plot of a story.
Why is co-constructing criteria such a powerful teaching strategy? This video demonstrates the importance of students being able to visualize / imagine what they’re being asked to produce. The clearer the student’s understanding of the intended product and its qualities the better.
An infographic depicting Kurt Vonnegut’s ideas about constructing plots:
Newspaper article about social media. Could be used as a writing prompt: “What could you write to support this family?” or critical thinking question: “How could you explain the thought process of people who choose to vandalize memorial sites such as this one?” Internet trolls vandalize Facebook memorial for Matthew Kocher, heap grief on family | Toronto Star
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are known for their effective note taking strategies. How does effective note taking in school lead to success in the world of work?
FastCompany.com article reformatted in Google Docs
An article that challenges students to reflect on the mindset they bring to their work. Great for discussing the relevance of learning skills and work habits and also as a prompt to generate discussion and build relationships the first week of school.