- 15 minutes
- Social and Emotional Skills
0Schedule 08/03/21 08:00 AM Think Like Einstein Albert Einstein said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” People tend to feel like complex concepts require a lot of explanation, which often can lead to even greater confusion. However, if you truly understand a concept, you should be able to explain it in https://teacheverywhere.org/activity/think-like-einstein/Print
Albert Einstein said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” People tend to feel like complex concepts require a lot of explanation, which often can lead to even greater confusion. However, if you truly understand a concept, you should be able to explain it in terms that a kindergartner would understand (on some level). To truly see whether your students have mastered their understanding of concepts, you will ask them to “Think Like Einstein” and develop a way to explain those concepts in its simplest manner, as if explaining them to a young child.
Albert Einstein said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” People tend to feel like complex concepts require a lot of explanation, which often can lead to even greater confusion. However, if you truly understand a concept, you should be able to explain it in terms that a kindergartner could understand (on some level).
Social and Emotional Skills
- In this activity, students will practice Social Awareness as they take on the perspective of a young child when trying to explain the various concepts. This act requires students to think beyond how they process information and put themselves in the shoes of a young child. When the audience is their classmates, that group will also practice social awareness as they listen with respect to their peers while potentially considering a different perspective from their own.
- Students will also practice Responsible Decision-Making as they first need to identify with the concept in a manner that they can explain it to someone else using different words than what they were given at the beginning of the activity. This involves active reflection which may or may not be like comparing the concept to a real-life situation. Once students can articulate the concept, they next will need to determine if their explanation can be easily understood by a younger person. In the event that their explanation is too complicated, students will need to solve this problem by empathizing with a younger person to better understand what types of concepts they can understand and then reworking their explanation in even simpler terms or graphics.
- Determine how you will share the activity with your students.
- Review activity guide.
- Determine if and how you will arrange breakout rooms (optional).
- Determine how you will engage students in the debrief following the activity.
- Organize your students as previously determined (individuals, partners, or teams).
- Share with students the concept(s) that you have selected from the handout Think Like Einstein – Example Prompts.
- Explain that, for the concept you shared with them, their goal is to create a simple explanation that would help someone else understand it. They must also include an example of the concept being applied to a situation.
- For example, if the prompt is “Sunk Cost”, my explanation might be: “Sunk costs are scarce resources (time, attention, money) spent that I can’t get back, so they shouldn’t influence my decisions.” My example might be: “Dating is an example of a sunk cost because although I spent my time, attention and money on my boyfriend/girlfriend, I shouldn’t just stay with them because I “wasted” those things on them. Those are now sunk costs and I should end things if/when necessary.”
- If splitting students into pairs or teams, say you will soon send them to breakout rooms.
- Allow students 10-15 minutes to compose their explanations and examples.
- Depending on how students are composing their explanation and example, they may need more time. For example, more time may be needed if students are creating a poster or drawing to represent the concept.
- Ask students to share out their concept with its explanation and example to check for understanding. Monitor their responses and clarify or correct as needed. If you are conducting a virtual class, this can be done by asking students to type their comments in the chat.
- EdTech Tip: Another option would be to have students record their explanations using Flipgrid and share their videos with the class, with a class of younger students, or with family members to see if they understand the concept.
Students can complete the debrief in several ways. Some options include having students submitting type responses to you, posting comments in a virtual chat, having a group conversation on a virtual platform, or by recording and posting their feedback using EdTech tools.
- What challenged you while working to complete this activity?
- Why can it be difficult to be simple in our explanations?
- What potential downsides are there to explaining a complex topic in simple terms?
- Were you customer focused when you developed your explanation and example? Did you think about your customer or audience?
- How did you use Knowledge in this activity?
- How could being able to explain things in simple terms involve Win-Win Focus?
- Do you think businesses ever struggle to get consumers to understand what it is their business does? Can you think of any examples you have experienced?
- How important is it for a business to be able to explain their value proposition to consumers in a simple way?
- Can you think of successful businesses that do a great job explaining their value proposition to customers?