Mission: Possible - Week 1

Mission of the Week: How can I be a problem seeker and problem solver?


Segment 1:

  • Exploration - What is a problem?

  • Mini Mission - Problem-seeking scavenger hunt

  • For ages 4-6 - Parents could frame the scavenger hunt with additional questions such as: What do you think a “problem” is? What is hard for you? What is hard about _____ (brushing teeth, getting dressed, getting water)? 

  • For ages 7-9 - Look for problems through the lens of another person. What might mom see as a problem? My little brother? Also, try to find at least two “problems” for each category mentioned.


Segment 2:

  • Exploration - How can we be a problem-seeker?

  • Mini Mission - Forming questions

  • For ages 4-6 - Parents could encourage questions that ask about feelings and comparative aspects (harder/easier, happier/more sad).

  • ​For ages 7-9 - Think about being “empathetic” versus being “sympathetic. For a great video that describes the difference, click here. 

Segment 3:

  • Exploration - What problems are people having?

  • Mini Mission - Asking questions

  • For ages 4-6 - Parents should encourage kids to start with one family member and help them think of how to remember the answers (Draw pictures? Write a few words? 

  • For ages 7-9 - As you interview family members, think about things they have in common and see if any of them have similar problems. You can change your questions as you go if you get an idea from one person. 

Segment 4:

  • Exploration - What problem can we solve and how?

  • Mini Mission - Identify a problem and start solving

  • For ages 4-6 - Parents should encourage kids to be as independent as possible in this process, letting their thoughts be big and allowing them the space to be creative. They’ll have lots of time to be practical later in life. Right now, it’s about creativity. 

  • For ages 7-9 - Experiment with the process of “prototyping” by creating a possible solution, testing it out, getting feedback from your family members and changing your design to make it even better. Try different supplies and ways of doing it until you get it just right (or closer to “just right” because it’ll never be perfect). 

Segment 5:

  • Exploration - How can we make the world just a little bit better by being problem solvers?

  • Mini Mission - Launch the solution

  • For ages 4-6 - Parents should encourage kids to think how they came up with their solution and how it solves the problem. ​

  • For ages 7-9 - Make sure to share your thinking process and reflections about what you learned and how you feel. Where might you see the next step of your solution going? What would you do with more time or different supplies?

Optional Family Mission: 

  • Exploration - What problems do I notice in my neighborhood?

  • Mini-Mission - Neighborhood walk

    • Walk around the neighborhood and identify problems (branch over the sidewalk, broken fence post, burnt out light bulb). Discuss:

      • How could we help solve these problems?

      • How would solving these problems make us feel?

    • Consider: Are there neighbors that we know who could use help? Such as...

      • Walking the dogs of elderly friends

      • Shoveling snow during the next spring storm

      • Creating chalk art messages to make people smile

Conclusion of Week 1

Week 1 Standards.png

Note: These are a sampling of the standards integrated into this unit. Recognizing that Mission: Possible participants span many grades and readiness-levels, this is a generic structure meant to include everyone. Additional activities integrating grade-level standards in specific disciplines (such as math, literacy, science, and social studies) tied to this material are available. This is especially true for math where levels vary drastically from student to student. Please email us, and we’d be happy to provide those resources.