How can we find new ideas to solve problems?

Explore a range of options and generate new ideas for practical and powerful actions.

Activity Image
30 mins
Thought starter


In this activity, students will learn a thinking strategy that they can use to explore options and find new solutions. Students will practice using the thinking strategy by developing practical and powerful actions in their own community to address climate change. Designed to nurture aspects of the curricular competency of applying and innovating, this activity can be easily applied to other examples and problem solving situations.


What you'll need

  • “Exploring options” worksheet
  • “Assessing my ability to explore options and find new solutions” rubric

  1. Begin the activity by inviting your students to think about how they solve problems. Ask students to think about a problem they have experienced in their everyday life. Perhaps they had an argument with a friend or had trouble with a homework assignment. How did they approach solving the problem? Invite students to share what worked and didn’t work for them.
  2. Explain to your students that they will be learning a thinking strategy to help them consider a range of options before identifying a solution. They will be using the thinking strategy to help them develop practical and powerful actions that they can take in their own community to address climate change. Share with students that practical and powerful actions:
  • Are easy to implement 
  • Are cost and time effective to carry out 
  • Have a strong and positive impact
  1. Organize students into groups and provide each student with a copy of the “Exploring options” worksheet. Instruct students that they will first consider actions that have already been done (Part 1 of the worksheet). Ask groups to think of actions that they already know of and work through the 5W questions. What actions have already been tried at home, in school, or in the community to address climate change? What can you learn from this? Encourage groups to share their actions with the class. 
  2. Ask groups to now consider what new actions they can think of by working through the 5W questions in Part 2 of the worksheet. What new actions could be tried at home, in school, or in the community? Remind students to check that their actions are practical and powerful and refine as needed. Invite groups to share their new actions with the class.
  3. Conclude the activity by asking students to suggest how they could make use of the thinking strategy in other contexts.

Modify or extend this activity


  • Provide options for students to work on the worksheets either independently, in pairs, or in small groups.
  • Provide a scribe and/or extra time with respect to the worksheets, for those students who need it.


Invite students to carry out the new actions that they have developed. What was the result of their actions? 

Curriculum Fit

Grade 7, 8 Science


  • Evidence of climate change over geologic time and recent impacts of humans (Grade 7)

Curricular competencies

Applying and innovating
  • Contribute to care for self, others, community and world through personal and collaborative approaches  
  • Generate and introduce new or refined ideas when problem solving 
  • Transfer and apply learning to new situations 


Throughout the activity consider how well students:

  • Work collaboratively during groups discussions
  • Use criteria to guide their thinking
  • Use sources of information and prior knowledge to make meaning
  • Transfer and apply learning to new situations

Guide students in using the “Assessing my ability to explore options and find new solutions” rubric during the activity.


Select the materials you require for this activity or download all

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