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Thinking Forward: Discussion Toolkit for Grades 9-12



Thinking Forward, a discussion toolkit for secondary school students is part of a back-to-school toolkit series that provide educators with activities and learning strategies for reflection and thinking about the Pandemic experience. Each session focuses on fundamental concepts that will help students move forward with new awareness, resilience, and optimism for the future. This toolkit focuses on four concepts:

  • Session 1 – The Power of Diversity and Perspective
  • Session 2 - Adaptability and Creativity
  • Session 3 - Science-Based Decision-Making
  • Session 4 – Interdependence and Citizenship

While each session connects to students' experiences, the concepts investigated are also linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, allowing students to see how their learning is practical and to act on it. The sessions can take place in any learning space, including online, outside, in nearby nature.

Through various indoor and outdoor activities, students will:

  • discuss possible perspectives of Damian's Barr drawing- We are all in the same storm with a partner
  • participate in a value line exercise, allowing students to become more conscious of their perspectives and appreciate their classmates' perspectives. The statements are based on online learning during the pandemic 
  • take part in a discussion circle based on accepting diverse ideas and perspectives and how to accept everyone perspectives in the classroom
  • create an essential agreement for the classroom
  • view stories and photos, which highlight a few of our creative adaptations to the constraints of Covid-19. After viewing, make a collaborative mind map of the ideas and actions
  • discuss which innovations from the last year do they value most and need to continue to develop
  • participate in DeBono's six hats activity to explore statements about the pandemic
  • discuss what areas of the school community students could improve if they use this thinking process in their planning and actions
  • during a community walk, discuss which rules are in place to keep the space safe and sustainable for everyone
  • create a thirty-second sound bite sharing the causes and consequences if everyone broke the rules
  • participate in a ball and string activity to understand how we all benefit from the work of many groups and public institutions
  • review the class essential agreement and discuss how students can stay true to the contract and make progress in their actions

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

After a challenging year of pandemic living, the activities in this toolkit help students reflect on the many changes in their lives made to keep them safe and learning. This resource complements itself well with the beginning of the school year activities when creating a balanced learning environment based on respect and students' needs. The sessions can take place in any learning space, including online, outside, in nearby nature. The lesson plans are easy to follow and provide suggestions, extension activities and reflection questions. The material and activities are age-appropriate, applicable to diverse learners, and connect to any subject discipline or curriculum.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Health Promotion
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Cultural Diversity