Activity Overview

Problem solving is the ability to identify and solve problems using appropriate skills in a systematic manner. There are five main steps to take when working on solving a problem: Identify the problem, brainstorm solutions, analyze each possible solution, choose and try a solution, and evaluate the outcome. Problem solving is an ongoing process that should be taught at a young age.

For this activity, the teacher will read Stuck by Oliver Jeffers aloud, while asking questions and engaging students in the story. After a class discussion about the book, students will create a cell illustrating and describing what Floyd could’ve done to get his kite out of the tree, instead of throwing several things into the tree and getting them stuck as well!

Other Picture Books for Teaching Problem Solving

  • What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
  • Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds
  • Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming
  • Solutions for Cold Feet (and Other Little Problems) by Carrie Sookocheff

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a cell that illustrates and describes a different way that Floyd could have solved his problem.

Student Instructions

  1. Click “Start Assignment”.
  2. Create an illustration that represents your alternate solution using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  3. Write a short description of the scene in the space below the illustration.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 2-3

Difficulty Level 1 (Introducing / Reinforcing)

Type of Assignment Individual

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/1/1] Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/2/2] Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/4/1] 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.


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