In my post “When vocabulary isn’t the issue” I got the impression it was difficult to “step inside the head” of a student who misunderstood that particular problem from a reading perspective, so I thought I’d give an example that has a better chance of simulating the experience.
This is a puzzle called Slitherlink. I gave it to my students and asked them to attempt to work it out simply from the directions, but out of 100 or so students only a handful managed without extra assistance. (They were given that the word “adjacent” means “next to”, so the vocabulary was not a problem.)
I have given this to adults who also needed extra explanation, so don’t feel bad if you’re unsure at first what to do.
Draw a closed loop by connecting dots. Each number in the puzzle specifies how many adjacent sides are included in the loop. A zero means no part of the loop passes next to that number.
Here are four sample puzzles of the type:
This example is less than optimal in that (unlike the last post) I know how to teach reading for understanding here, but still, I’m curious: did you have difficulty, and how did you extricate yourself? How would you teach reading the instructions to this puzzle?