SOS: Connect-Extend-Challenge

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Connect Extend Challenge

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SOS Big Idea

The Connect-Extend-Challenge routine is part of the Visible Thinking approach, developed at Harvard’s Project Zero. This routine guides students to use their background knowledge, identify new learning, and think about how that new knowledge challenges or puzzles them.

SOS StepsMaterials: video segment, reading selection, or presentation; paper; writing utensils

  1. Have students view a video, read a passage, or listen to a presentation. 
  2. Ask students to respond individually in writing to the following prompts: 
    • How are the ideas or information presented connected to what you  already knew?
    • What new ideas did you get that extend your thinking in a new direction?
    • What challenges have you come up with in your mind about these ideas and the information presented? 
  3. Ask students to share their ideas with a partner, a group, or the whole class. During this time, have the class make an anchor chart of their insights and learning.
  4. This process could be repeated as students encounter new material related to the same topic. They would continue to discuss and add to the anchor chart.

SOS Sum It UpThe purpose of this routine is to help students connect ideas and information to help build understanding, while simultaneously propelling them to question and explore a topic from a new angle. The routine helps guide students to build upon and deepen their learning within a speci?c topic.


SOS More Ideas

  • Students could use a Google Doc or Edmodo to record, explore, and share their learning.
  • Have students research the topic more thoroughly. Have them use a graphic 
    organizer, such as a web, to organize their remaining questions and then share what they discover in an opinion essay, public service announcement, or classroom debate.

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