Skills Building: What Do You Do With A Problem?

Unit 12 Book - What do you do with a problem

Written by Kobi Yamada and Illustrated by Mae Besom

TEKS: Reading K.5(D); 1.6(D); 2.6(D); 3.6(D); 4.6(D); 5.6(D)

Pre- Reading Questions 

  1. What do you do when you have a problem? How does a problem make you feel?
  2. When you have a problem, do you usually talk to someone or keep it to yourself?
  3. How do you know what is and isn’t a problem?

Post- Reading Questions

  1. How did the character feel when he had a problem?

  2. What happened when he kept worrying and avoiding his problem?
  3. How did he end up fixing his problem?
  4. Have you ever had a problem that you tried to avoid? How did you eventually tackle it?
  5. Have you ever had a problem that gave you an opportunity to be brave and grow?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Problem Envelope and Opportunity Gold (3-5)


In this activity, students will identify a current problem and write it on the outside of the envelope. Working in groups, they will brainstorm various solutions to the problems that they face. Learning to reframe problems as opportunities or challenges helps to build their confidence and problem-solving skills.


  • white square or origami paper (1 per student)
  • pencils
  • half-page gold colored paper (will fit inside finished envelope
  • completed sample for students to view

Duration21 Minutes (Add problems or additional opportunities to the envelope for those who finish quickly)

  • 3 minutes – Show sample and have students brainstorm problems
  • 8 minutes – Create the envelopes
  • 3 minutes – Write down problems
  • 5 minutes – Brainstorm solutions in groups of three
  • 2 minutes – Share and reflect


  1. Have students sit at tables, facing the teacher.
  2. Explain the activity of finding creative solutions to problems.
  3. Show a sample envelope labeled “Teacher’s Problem.”
  4. Pass out supplies to students (white square paper, pencil, glue and gold colored paper).
  5. Walk students step-by-step through how to create their envelope.
  6. How to make an envelope

    – Fold the paper in half both ways by bringing the opposite corners to one another, then unfold.
    – Fold 2 corners to the middle crease
    – Fold the bottom corner up a little more than halfway
    – Fold the bottom corner down
    – Glue the bottom flap to the side flaps
    – Fold the top corner point down to finish the envelope

  7. With the envelope complete, have students think about problems that might seem big or difficult to solve.
  8. Give each student a small piece of paper and divide them into groups of 2-3.
  9. Have groups work together to brainstorm solutions to their problems and write them on the paper. Younger students can illustrate their problems if they have trouble writing.
  10. Have students put their solutions in their envelope.
  11. Come back together as a group.

Reflection Questions

  • Can anyone share their problem and some of the solutions their group came up with?

  • How did it feel having others help you think of solutions?

  • How does the way you think about your problems change when you view them opportunities or challenges?

  • How did it feel to help others come up with solutions?

  • Next time a problem feels overwhelming, what can you do differently?

Make the Envelope