Cooperative problem-solving puzzles (complete with answers) require groups of 4–8 students to interpret and understand a sequence of written information—some of which is irrelevant. Some Tanglers are fictional; others present interesting factual information about historical, geographical, or scientific content. You'll have one lesson plan for presenting the Tanglers and one to help students write their own. It's a great way to integrate thinking skills into your content area. Your students will begin to write their own Tanglers using content from grade level curriculum. Students will be eager to make use of their research skills to find the paradoxes that make good Tanglers.
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Paul Fleisher, M.Ed., teaches gifted sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in the Richmond, Virginia public schools. He conducts many workshops on topics ranging from teaching through games to cooperative-learning techniques.
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