A Trick That's Not a Trick:


Several years ago at CABOCES Curriculum Camp, Gary Stager was one of our speakers. During one session on using the Internet for higher level thinking, Gary suggested that, "a good prompt is worth 1,000 words."

A few realizations came out of this:
  • If the prompt you've given students asks them to repeat information directly from the Internet, then it does not tap into higher level thinking.
  • Asking students to create something original or demonstrating their own opinion is much more worth while than asking them to simply copy information and paraphrase it.

The prompt he gave our group and set us free with was this:

THE CHICAGO SEVEN WERE MARTYRS.


Notice that the prompt is somewhat of a provocative question.
What steps would students have to go through in order to agree or disagree with this statement.

Jamie McKenzie also suggests different ways to create short, but stimulating prompts. Sometimes the prompt is not a prompt, but a question or image that stirs the reader or viewer to think more deeply. Using the Internet to find out more information can help to get the necessary information to support or refute the prompt.