This is the fourth in a series of posts (1: Choices, 2: Parent Communication, 3: Research) about supporting successful product assignments at the end of a unit of study. Now let’s talk about thinking. Successful products need students to use their problem-solving skills but they also need to use their creative side. Critical and creative thinking go hand in hand for product assignments. Talk to your students about using both thinking styles for their product. Use products as a way to connect what they are learning in the classroom to life outside the classroom. Are they doing a slideshow? Talk about how business people use slideshows to make a presentation at work. Connect the projects to real-world issues, maybe do animal research reports on endangered animals to raise awareness. Maybe ask the library or other commonly visited location if you can display them for a week to allow the whole school a chance to see the projects, raising awareness of the whole school.