Problem Solving Lesson Plan – Emergent

Hey guys! I wanted to put together a really easy and fun lesson on problem solving. Read on for lesson suggestions & instructions!

Objective: Solving a Problem

Level: Emergent

Age: Elementary School

Skill Progression:

To Use:

Print out the following visual tools and use together with the suggested video lesson.

Intro Materials:

Introduce the concept of figuring out how big a problem is by using the Size of the Problem Rating Scale Visual Tool. It is important that we determine first how big the problem is because it informs us how to react and determine our next step.

Use this example with students:

  • If we ripped our homework and started to cry in class, this would look very unusual because it’s a small problem. The first step to solve it is knowing you can fix this yourself.
  • If we are at home and realize we don’t have the necessary book to do our homework, that’s a medium-big problem. It’s okay to feel stressed and upset about this. Our first step to solve the problem is realizing we need another person’s help. You could probably call a friend who might be able to share their book with you.

Main Activity:

Introduce the concept of Problem Solving Steps with the Problem Solving Steps Visual Tool.

Watch the Problem Solving Social Skills in Action Video Lesson. During or after watching, talk about the following:

  • How Julie used each step of problem solving.
  • What size was her problem?
  • How did Julie react?


Follow up with the Problem Solving Premium Activity Packet. If you have time, play the board game which provides three different cards as prompts: What’s the Size of the Problem, Solve this Problem, and Infer the Consequence of this given solution. If you’re short on time, use this one-page Big or Little Problem Sorting Worksheet.

Next Time:

To continue working on and expanding this topic, I recommend the following activities:

Happy Teaching,