Cheryl Carter
  This is the second activity in a two-part project on using individual resources including: (1) Understanding and identifying individual resources, and (2) Utilizing individual resources in everyday problem solving.

  Critical thinking, Problem solving, Life skills

Learner Level:

Time Frame:
  2 Hours

Learner Grouping:
  Small group, Whole class

  This activity was presented to a Family Learning Center class, consisting of learners age 18-55. Most learners in this class are Intermediate ABE or Adult Secondary Level. The emphasis in the class is GED preparation and improving basic skills. This activity will assist learners in recognizing their individual resources and using these resources in everyday problem solving.

  Not available

  Vernon Family Learning Center

Type of Program:

Student Population Served:
  Credentialing (grade levels 9-12.9)

Utilizing individual resources in everyday problem solving

Learners will utilize their understanding of individual resources gained from the previous learning activity to determine the individual resources that people in scenarios presented by the instructor have to use in problem solving. Learners then apply their own list of individual resources to problem solve scenarios of their own creation. __________________________________________________________

Learning Objective:
Learners will identify and utilize personal resources in solving practical, everyday problems that might arise in the workplace and/or in their family and home. They will be better prepared to approach problems with strategies for problem solving.

Primary Skill:
Personal qualities

Secondary Skills:
Solve problems and make decisions

Learner Needs & Goals:
Some of the learners in this class want to improve basic skills so that they can qualify for a job that does not require a GED, but requires basic math and/or literacy skills. Most of the learners are working for GED certification so they can qualify for a job that requires a GED or so they can advance in their present job or obtain a better job. This activity will help all learners recognize their resources, their potential, and their abilities, and will encourage them in self-management and problem solving.

Learning Activity Description:
This activity will be part II of a larger project, and should be undertaken after the activity entitled "Understanding and identifying individual resources" has been successfully completed by all learners. Learners will use their Individual Resource List that they completed in the initial activity.

I. Reviewing:
Learners will begin this activity by reviewing a clean copy of the Individual Resource List (see attachment) that they used to list their own individual resources in the previous lesson. The resource checklist will be discussed in detail. When this is completed, each learner will be given a copy of a Scenario (attachment). The scenario will be read aloud and discussed by the group. The learners will then utilize the resource checklist as follows: Put a "Y" next to the resources that are available to the individual(s) in the scenario; put an "N" next to any resource that is not available; put a question mark where the resource is uncertain. (Note: there are numerous scenarios in the book A Framework for Understanding and Working with Students and Adults from Poverty by Ruby K. Payne. These could be used, or the facilitator can create his/her own scenarios. Be sure to include scenarios that illustrate different types and amounts of resources available to individuals.)

II. Analyzing:
Upon completion of this whole group activity, the class will be divided into small groups and each group will be given two different scenarios to analyze. All groups will be given the same two scenarios and each group will complete one Resource Checklist for each scenario. The groups will read each scenario as a group, discuss the resources available to the individuals in the scenario, and then cooperatively come to a decision regarding the solution to the problem(s) presented in the scenario. After all groups have completed their Resource Checklists, the class as a whole will discuss the problem or situation in the scenario.

III. Personal Application:
Learners will then review their Individual Resource Lists which list each resource available to him/her for use in everyday problem solving. If they think of additional resources they can add under any of the categories, they should go ahead and add them. Each learner will then write a scenario demonstrating a problem or situation for consideration. Learners will be encouraged to base the scenarios on personal experience; however, the scenario could be based on the experience of a friend or family member, or could be purely fictional. After the scenario is completed, the learner will identify which resources from their personal resource checklist could be utilized to solve the problem in the scenario.

Learners may need extra time to complete the scenario writing and the resource checklists. The activity could be extended to the next class meeting, giving the learners the opportunity to read their scenarios to the class, followed by group discussion. No learner should be compelled to share their scenario and the solution however, as these may be pretty personal. Upon completion of this activity, learners will have a better understanding of the importance of individual resources in problem solving, and will have developed experience in recognizing and utilizing resources to solve problems.

Materials and Resources:
Book: A framework for understanding and working with students and adults from poverty (Copyright, 1995, Ruby K. Payne, RFT Publishing) Handouts: (a) Individual Resource List, (b) Resource List, (c) Scenarios for problem solving

Attachments: (For Internet Explorer users, right click on link then choose "Save target as". For Netscape users, just hold down the shift key and click on the link.)
Individual Resource List

Assessment: Students demonstrated their ability to work effectively as a group, reading the scenarios, conducting group discussions, and coming to a consensus regarding the solution to the problems presented to them. Learners wrote scenarios and completed a resource checklist for the scenarios.

I would allot more time to complete these activities; there is lots of material here for group discussion that could have a very positive effect on the learners' expectations and abilities. One learner suggested using the resource checklist to analyze a television soap opera character's situation -- the facilitator could provide a short video taped segment of a soap opera as an introduction to this activity.


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