Let’s Get Logical

I just finished up a unit for the co-op our family participates in with Charlie and a couple of other families with a focus on logic puzzles. Alex is a fan of the traditional grid style logic puzzles like the Mind Benders series from Critical Thinking Co..

When I ran across The Great Chocolate Caper at Prufrock Press I thought it would make a great co-op unit.

Instead of just a book of logic puzzles, this unit study guides the kids through a role-playing detective story in which they solve logic puzzles to narrow down a list of suspects and ultimately solve a mystery.

We started out by making some variations of the standard chocolate bar recipe provided and voted on our favorite to be our “secret recipe”. They also worked together to create a name and logo for their chocolate bar. On our second meeting the kids were informed that their recipe had been stolen and they started in on their list of clues. The book guides the kids through the critical thinking process of determining whether a generalization or assumption is valid or based on too little information. Some days we solved logic puzzles and some days we lifted fingerprints or decoded hidden messages. It ended up being a very effective unit for keeping them engaged and thinking critically.

We’ve also successfully used the One Hour Mysteries book for shorter 1-2 session logic mysteries.

I did notice that the kids who already had experience completing logic puzzles had more success with this series. You can practice them online at http://www.logic-puzzles.org/ or Puzzles.com

Beware, your kids will start to question any faulty logic you throw their way after they get a good handle on this.

Dennis loved it so much that we ended up buying the sequel to One Hour Mysteries. It was a great class though I’m excited to move on to your short story unit!

That looks so cool!

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