Tony Ryan's Thinkers Keysexternal image j0336382.gifexternal image j0336382.gifexternal image j0336382.gif
Curriculum and Education Outside the Classroom links:

Thinkers Keys can be used effectively and creativiely across the curriculum - this includes in EOTC (Education Outside the Classroom). The Thinkers Keys can be adapted to fit any activity or lesson taking place no matter what the focus is. They are simple and easy to use and can be used for fast-finishers, as free-time activity or just to be included in the lesson being taught. The use of the Thinkers Keys also provides the students with the opportunity to think creatively and in ways that are different to what they are used to.

Here are some ways you can use the Thinkers Keys in different currciulum areas:

Scenario: Shared Reading Lesson
When reading the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" with the whole class give the students the opportunity to use the 'Brainstorming Key'. You need to state the problem: "Goldilocks keeps breaking into the Three Bears house." From this, students then have to brainstorm how this problem can be solved. They may work individually or in groups to brainstorm a list of practical, creative or innovative solutions.

Scenario: Measurement - Length Lesson
As an activity for a lesson on length, you can use the 'Construction Key'. Tell the class the goal is to construct the longest bridge by only using one sheet of newspaper, sticky tape and 10 straws. When all groups have completely the task you can then measure which bridge is longest in length, and for other measurement purposes you could also measure width and height of the bridge.

Physical Education/Health
Scenario: Ball Throwing Lesson
When teaching a P.E lesson on ball throwing and hand-eye coordination you can use the 'Variations Key'. To get students to think about different variables on how to do something allow them time to work out and/or write down solutions to the starting question "How many ways can you throw a ball?" Students brainstorm different solutions or ways to meet the challenge.

Visual Art
Scenario: Painting Lesson
The 'Alternative Key' requires students to think of ways to complete a task without the normal tools or equipment. For example, taking a photograph without a camera or raking leaves without a rake. For this painting lesson ask students to work out three ways to paint a picture without using a paintbrush. From this, students can use the solutions that they came up with and create their own painting (without the paintbrush).

Scenario: Solar System Lesson
The 'What If Key' allows students to think more critically about what the consequences would be if a particular event/action did happen. In this Solar System lesson ask students to consider, "What if the sun stopped shining?". Allow students in groups or in pairs some time to brainstorm their thoughts. As a whole class discuss these ideas, collate them and display on a class wall chart.

Social Science
Scenario: New Zealand Culture Lesson
In Social Science, contexts are drawn from the past, present, and future and from places within and beyond New Zealand. In this lesson use the 'Alphabet Key'. Students need to make a list from A-Z that is specific to New Zealand culture or 'Kiwiana'.
For example, All Blacks, Buzzy Bee, Cookie-Time, Dairy, Electric Fence, Fish 'n' Chips...... etc

Scenario: Future Technology
The use of the 'Prediction Key'allows students to respond to a situation or circumstance by predicting a series of possibilities.
Eg. Predict what cars will run on in 100 years.
Predict what clothing will be made out of in 150 years.

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Education Outside the Classroom
Scenario: School Camp
During School Camp, there are a variety of activities that take place where the Thinkers Keys can be used.

The 'Reverse Listing Key': Place words such as cannot, never or not in a sentence.
E.g. Name 10 things you cannot take with you when tramping.

The 'BAR Key': Make an item BIGGER, ADD something to it, REPLACE something on it.
E.g. A tent

The 'Commonality Key': Decide on 2 objects which would normally have nothing in common, and try to find common points between them.
E.g. Kayak vs Drink Bottle

The 'Disadvantages Key': Select any item and ask students to list its disadvantages. Students then brainstorm various ways of correcting or
eliminating the disadvantages.
E.g. Campfire