This activity is great to create displays for your classroom. It also encourages group work and citizenship skills. It is also low-prep which I love! Teacher involvement is minimal. The only thing you need to organise is display resources: coloured paper, pens etc and some information. Okay, so there is some prep involved but once the activity is set up you can sit back and relax! And of course, monitor. I got this activity from my post-graduate degree in teaching. I always use it at the start of the year with new groups to help them build relationships with each other and to make my classroom look a bit more inviting.
2.) Give them some problems to solve. Some examples that I have done this year include: animals facing extinction, neighbourhood issues etc… you can basically use it with all sorts of topics depending on the age of your group or topic being studied.
3.) Once they have chosen a problem to solve, show them an example of the process. To do this, explain each part of the tree. See the above photo.
a.) Get them to choose a problem. This will be the title and should be written in the trunk.
b.) The second stage is to discuss the causes of the problem and write them in the roots.
c.) The next step is discuss ideas on how to solve the problem. They write these in the branches.
d.) Finally, they can identify the results/outcomes of their solutions and write them in the leaves or fruit.
4.) Now get them to start! Give them access to the internet. If this is not possible, you can print out some information, have them research it for homework before the lesson or, use their textbooks.
Some examples of Issue Trees by 10 year olds learning english: