Placemat Strategy by 1AhQg6AV


									                                                                                    Ashlee Smith
                                      Placemat Strategy

        The place mat activity is a cooperative learning strategy where students can
brainstorm individually and then bring all their ideas together into small groups for one
common idea.
        The place mat can be used as a tool to show the knowledge and higher order of
thinking that a student has acquired from a lesson or unit.

      1. Students create their place mat template. They can use one provided or make
          one themselves. In a group setting it would be divided up by however many
          students are in the group. If individual work, then the student can decide how
          many spaces they want.
      2. Each member produces their own thoughts and ideas on a topic in their
          designated section of the mat.
      3. Ideas are shared within the group once individual brainstorming is complete.
          The student’s common points are summarized and put into the centre of the
      4. Groups can then share with the class what the group findings were from what
          is written in the centre area of the mat.

        1. Students are given a topic area to brainstorm about.
        2. Divide the mat into the desired sections.
        3. Each section should be filled with ideas by either pictures or words to
           describe the desired knowledge the student has acquired from the topic.
        4. The centre area of the place mat is the topic or unit being brainstormed

Examples: This strategy can be used for all units.
      Literacy- describe themes of story, characters, overall theme of the story
      History- main elements of the unit, historians, events,
      Health- safety tips, nutrition, ways to stay fit
      Science- main elements of unit

Suggestions for Follow-Up:
        The place mat can be used to generate discussion among the class about the
topic at hand. It can also be used as a follow-up tool. The place mat can help students
organize their knowledge and understanding of a unit as a source of assessment or even
a studying strategy to prepare for an end-of-unit test.

        With this strategy, the teacher needs to ensure that students are staying on task
with specific expectations. Teachers need to make expectations of the place mat clear
so that students are able to brainstorm properly.

Lesson adapted from Sue Jakobs, Associate Teacher, Summers Corners PS.
“Teaching through Problem Solving”

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