Overview & Integration

Core 4:



7J: Integrates opportunities for the development of personal responsibility, self-direction, and leadership throughout the program

7D: Enables participants to explore resources and issues in their community through projects and activities

CASEL Competencies:

Self-Management, Self-Awareness, & Responsible Decision Making

6DQ: Engagement in Learning

Inspiring: Hard work, Trying new things, Risk-taking


Life is full of obstacles and challenges for each of us to overcome. While some obstacles are big and some challenges are small, problem solving is an important skill that helps us solve problems of all kinds. When we practice our problem solving skills as we grow older, we can face these difficulties with courage. 


Think about when you first learned to count. At first it was difficult, but you practiced and problem solved. Your brain learned what worked and what didn’t, until one day you were able to count with no difficulty.


But sometimes the problems we face are bigger than just our own; sometimes the problems can involve our entire house, community, state or country! Some problems are so big that they involve the entire world! These types of problems can feel too big and scary for us to fix by ourselves, which means that we all have to work together to find solutions that work. Problems like pollution and landfills full of garbage were created by millions of people so it will take many of us working together to bring about real change. But no matter how young or old we are, our voice and our ideas can start the process of creating change! 


Take some time this week to observe the world around you. What problems do you see in your home, community, state, country or world? What ideas do you have to solve some of these problems? Share your ideas with you classmates and teachers and let’s work together to become changemakers in our community!

Reflection Questions

  • What are some problems or challenges that you had today?
  • Share about a big problem you’re facing, and let’s see if others can help us brainstorm ways to solve it!
  • What are some problems or issues that you see in your home and community?
  • What are some solutions that you might have for these bigger problems?
  • What do you hope to change in your community or the world to make it a better place?
  • What are some ways you can problem solve?

Arts/Crafts Reflection Questions

  • What problems did you face when doing this activity? 
  • How did you solve these problems? 
  • How can art be used to solve big problems?
  • How can your class be less wasteful when creating art?
  • What are some ways you see art in your community? What impact has it made? (ie. Think about graffiti art for a cause or sculptures about various issues)

Games/Physical Activity Reflection Questions

  • What was the most difficult part of the game? 
  • What obstacles or challenges did your team face today? 
  • How did your team work together to overcome these obstacles?
  • What other ways could you have solved these problems? 
  • What do you think this game teaches you about problem solving? 
  • Why is problem solving important when playing games or sports?