The 5 Habits Framework

1) Evidence (How do I know what's true?)

2) Perspective (Who might think differently?)

3) Connections (What other areas of knowledge are connected?)

4) Supposition (How might it be different if..?)

5) Significance (Is this important?)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Family of Teen Sues School to Play on JV Team

He was cut from the Ladue High soccer team. First his family cried foul. Then they sued.

1)  What evidence is being used to prove discrimination or non-discrimination?  What evidence do you find most convincing? How are numbers used in this story to persuade the reader?

2)  To what degree is one perspective promoted over another in this story?  In what ways might the teen's perspective differ from his parents'?  How could you view this story from both the school's and the family's perspectives?

3)  To what degree is this connected to your school?  How might this be connected to Harry Potter?  To the Academy Awards? 

4)  How could the coach's rationale change if this was a different sport?  How could this be different if the student was 2 years younger?  Older?  In Colombia? 

5)  In what ways is this significant to you?  What are the long-term consequences for the school?  For the student?  What is a piece of information that could make this significant for a student at this school in the future?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research and report about famous athletes/artists who got cut/rejected from teams early in their career trajectories.

2)  Students can devise an equitable plan/policy/advice for students who find themselves in a similar situation.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Authorities Investigating Tourist Riding Crocodile
Picture: Niels Jensen/Caters NewsSource:Caters News Agency

1)  What makes this story credible?  What more information do I need to understand this problem better?  What numbers are used in this story to give a value judgement of the tourists actions?   

2)  Were the perspectives in this piece generally positive or negative about the man's actions?  How is my own perspective limited in making a judgement about this story?  How might this story be perceived differently in different parts of Australia?  In different parts of Denmark?

3)    Have you seen something like this before?  In what ways is a connection to "Crocodile Dundee" or "The Crocodile Hunter" appropriate?  To which classic fairly tale or story is this most connected?   

4)  How might this story be different if the tourist's nationality were changed?  To what degree would this be newsworthy if there were fewer media outlets in Australia? 

5)  What might be some ways this story is significant for Australian tourism?  Environmental efforts?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can study tricks of zoologists to keep animals docile when humans are around and look for patterns between groups of animals (reptiles and mammals)

2)  Students can list animals common to their area and rate on a continuum "most dangerous" to "most friendly".  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Driver Pays More than Half Million for Parking Space

Hong Kong just set another property-price record.

Photo via @busrep

1)  In what ways are proper nouns used as evidence in this story?  What might convince someone that this was purchased for investment and not personal use?  

2)  In what ways might an American's view on this story be different than a Chinese person?  Why might an American 16 year old think about this differently than a 12 year old?

3)  In what ways is this connected to the last book you read?  To what degree is this connected to your last experience at a store?

4)  How might this story have been different if it were written 20 years ago?  In what ways would this change if the buyer was not a native of Hong Kong?

5)  What are the most significant numbers in the article?  What are some basic assumptions about parking?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research the most expensive cities in the world based on a variety of characteristics (etc. GDP per capita, housing, food) and identify primary reasons for the economic conditions.

2)  Students can research and propose alternative parking plans for their school at changing populations.  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Guide to What Teenagers Think is Cool

What is Lit?

Just some teens, enjoying the coolest brands. (Getty Images/ISTOCKPHOTO)

1)  What evidence is presented in these resources?  Is it compelling for the conclusions the authors come to?  What are the limits in surveying people for research?  To what degree can one trust the conclusion of YouTube being the "coolest" brand?  

2)  Whose perspective is represented in the articles?  Whose perspective is not represented?  In what ways are teenagers' perceptions different than their parents?  Why might a Pewdiepie subscriber think about this report differently than someone who has never heard of this YouTuber?        

3)  In what ways can this report connected to the environment?  To government and politics?  Education?

4)  To what extent would this report have been different if they extended the age range 3 years above and below?  How might these resources be    

5)  In what ways is this significant to you?  What are some assumptions about teenagers?  About the field of advertising?  What are the long-term consequences of this report?  Short-term?  

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research the techniques used to sell products and bring in ads that use these techniques.  They can then compare them to early techniques in marketing (i.e. Listerine).  

2)  Students can create an guidebook of new words for teachers to be aware of and update it throughout the year.  They can then chart the use and disuse of slang words throughout different periods of time through research or by interviewing family members.

AoK:  Human Sciences

WoK:  Language

Friday, February 3, 2017

Wasteful Spending? US Gov Spends $2M, Finds Out Kids Like Food Un-Sneezed On

Senator Questions the Value of Scientific Research

 (Getty Images/mammamaart)

1)  Which numbers are used as evidence in this article?  What evidence is used by politicians as "appropriate" or "too much" spending?

2)  Why might a scientist have a different opinion on this than that of a builder?  Whose perspective is left out?

3)  In what ways is this connected to sports?  Instagram?

4)  How might this be different if it was written by a scientist?  What would happen if the government did not fund scientific research in the non-STEM related field?

5)  What are some basic assumptions about government?  The role of science in society?  How are those assumptions reinforced in this article?  How are they undermined?  

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research the history of breakthroughs/inventions that have their roots in seemingly trivial experimentation and create a top ten list.

2)  Students can research Bell Labs/Raytheon and NASA/NSF for the various ways the government and the private sector approach research and development.  

AoK:  Natural Sciences

WoK:  Emotion

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Texting Mistake Leads to New Plans for Thanksgiving

Grandma With Wrong Number Makes Holiday Miracle


1.  In what ways did questions of evidence come up in this story?  How do we know what is true on social media?  What evidence would you need to verify someone's identity from a number you didn't know?    

2.  Whose perspective is represented in this story?  Whose is left out?  In what ways is your perspective limited when reading this story?  With whom do you identify most?  Why might a teenager have a different perspective than a senior citizen?

3.  In what ways is this connected to history?  In what ways is this connected to transportation?  Star Wars?

4.  How might this be different if the gender roles were reversed?  If this was in India?

5.  What are the basic assumptions of the role of a grandmother?  The Thanksgiving holiday?  In what ways is this significant to you?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research the term "doxxing" and decide if this falls under the definition and debate for their viewpoint.

2)  Students can invite someone they normally wouldn't invite to a celebration and reflect on the experience from planning to implementation.

AoK:  Ethics, History

WoK:  Reason, Imagination, Emotion

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Single Mother Returns Money from Broken ATM

Bank Customer Lauded for Honesty

(Getty Images)

1)  What could be used as evidence that this story is a fabrication?  What are the limits of financial records as evidence?  What are the limits of video evidence?

2)  Whose perspective is represented?  Left out?  In what ways is your perspective limited on this story?  Why might the CEO of Wells -Fargo feel differently about this story today than 3 years ago?

3)  In what ways is this connected to social media?  Marvel Comics?

4)  How would the story be different if it was a man?  A woman of a different race?  A larger amount of money?  A smaller amount?  A bank teller was responsible?

5)  To whom might this be significant?  What are some basic assumptions about honesty in financial dealings?  

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can rank which items are the most immoral to steal  a. a car  b.  a painting  c. pirated music  d.  bread for a hungry family.  and then research Kant's categorical imperative and re-rank

2)    Students can write a short story of a character who one day finds $133,000 dollars was deposited into their bank account.

AoK:  Ethics

WoK:  Emotion