Paradoxes and illusions are a great area of study to blow students’ minds. I recently discovered an amazing artist, Kokichi Sugihara, who creates and films optical illusions using just paper and balls.
Differentiation TechniqueFind The Controversy
Read The OverviewFind The Controversy in Any Topic
By leveraging a point of contention, we can get students interested in just about any topic. Yes, even boring old spelling has controversy we can exploit!
Specific Examples of “Find The Controversy”
A quick, but challenging discussion topic for any age: “Is it always fair to make decisions based on a majority vote?”
Let’s look at a way to encourage and scaffold curiosity in our classes using a “Book of Unanswered Questions.” Begin by sharing intriguing objects or images and asking your own questions. Give kids a chance to find answers to their questions. Then encourage students to bring in their own intriguing conversation starters. Finally, move students towards curriculum based questions.
Here are even more amazing paradoxes to baffle your students: Buridan’s Bridge, the Bootstrap Paradox, and the Barber Paradox.
Struggling math students shut down when they’re smacked with a mouthful of academic vocabulary right away. So lower the barrier of entry. Ask students to identify the conflict between two shapes, rather than defining “congruent sides” and “bisected diagonals.”
It’s essential to teach our students to think flexibly and consider multiple points of view. Flexible thinking leads to product innovation, diplomacy between nations, and advances in science. School, however, often encourages students to settle into a “one right answer” mindset.
We’ve seen some awesome logic paradoxes, now let’s examine a few visual paradoxes that would make great mental warm-ups for your class! The penrose triangle, penrose stairs, impossible cube, the blivet, and the Möbius strip! Plus, download a powerpoint to share with your students.
Last month’s paradox post was very popular, so here’s another. These are a blast to share with kids. Use them to help students think through a complex problem, finding all possibilities. Work on the ability to articulate thinking. And, naturally, have them find and create their own.
The paradox content imperative is a blast to expose students to. Here are three famous paradoxes to delight and confound your deep thinkers (and one bonus from Yogi Berra).
Do your learners use the tool 👓 multiple perspectives to analyze stories, problems, and historical events? Here’s a TED Talk about real-life multiple perspectives that will make your students (and you!) reconsider basic assumptions.