Short stories are real good ways to get some inspiration. You can check some good short stories here. Today we want to extend that list with few more short stories for students about problem solving.
Short Stories for Students
Short Story For High School Students
Many years ago a farmer fell debt to a moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s young beautiful daughter. So the moneylender proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer’s debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.
So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into An empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag. 1. If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. 2. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. 3. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail. They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field.
As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed damsel/girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag. Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities: 1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble. 2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the money-lender as a cheat. 3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment. Take a moment to ponder over the story.
The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking. The girl’s dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking.
Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical answers. What would you recommend to the girl do?
Please see the solution after you come up with your own solution
What the girl really did:
Well, here is what she did…The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles. “Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.” Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.
The Moral: Most complex problems may have a simple solution; just change the way you think about them.
The above short story is one of the best short story you can find for high school students. Make sure to tell them this story. Source: rajeshsetty
Short Story for Middle School Students
Once a man needed a new pair of shoes. This man was very good at math. He knew that in order to get shoes that fit correctly, it would be necessary to measure his shoe size properly.
The man knew how to measure very accurately. He also knew how to draw diagrams that were very accurate. So, before he went to the marketplace, he drew a very detailed picture of his feet on a piece of paper. He carefully measured his feet, and he wrote the exact dimensions of each foot on the diagrams. Then before leaving the house, like a good mathematician, he rechecked his figures.
It was a very long way from the man’s home to the market where he intended to buy the shoes. It was past mid-day when the man arrived at the market. When he reached the stall where shoes were being sold, the man realized that he had forgotten to bring there paper that he had so carefully written his measurements on. He turned around and walked all the way back home to get it.
It was nearly sunset when the man arrived back at the market. There he found the market was closing, and the shoemaker had packed up all of his shoes to take them home.
“Foolish man,” the shoemaker told the man when he was asked to unpack his wares to make a sale. Why did you not just try on the shoes in my store? Why did you need to go home and get your diagrams?”
The man hung his head shamefully. “I guessed I only believed there was one way to solve my problem. I should have thought to check with others for another solution that might have worked as well or better than my own.”
Note to Math Teachers: Always encourage students to explain how they arrive at an answer. Then ask your class if others have a different way to solve the same problem. In our rapidly changing world that is so filled with problems, we need divergent thinkers who can work together finding many possible solutions to today’s problems.
The above short story works well with middle school students and also for the teachers. Don’t try to solve a problem with a single point of view, there may be many other ways of solving the same problem.
Short Moral Story for Students
Last we want to finish this collection with a good short moral story for students and therefore here it comes! Hope that makes a BIG change in YOU.
The Professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see & asked the students “How much do you think this glass weighs?”
’50gms!’ ’100gms!’ ’125 gms’ – the students answered.
“I really don’t know unless I weigh it,” said the professor, “but, my question is:
What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?”…. .
‘Nothing’ the students said.
‘Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the professor asked.
‘Your arm would begin to ache’ said one of the student
“You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?”
“Your arm could go numb; you might have severe muscle stress & paralysis & have to go to hospital for sure!”
Ventured another student & all the students laughed
But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?” Asked the professor.
‘No’ Was the answer.
“Then what caused the arm ache & the muscle stress?”
The students were puzzled.
“What should I do now to come out of pain?” asked professor again.
“Put the glass down!” said one of the students
“Exactly!” said the professor.
Life’s problems are something like this.
Hold it for a few minutes in your head & they seem OK.
Think of them for a long time & they begin to ache.
Hold it even longer & they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything.
It’s important to think of the challenges or problems in your life, But EVEN MORE IMPORTANT is to ‘PUT THEM DOWN’ at the end of every day before you go to sleep…
That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh &strong & can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!
Moral: So, when you start your day today, Remember friend – `PUT THE GLASS DOWN!`
Update: July 2 2015
Self Confidence – Inspirational Story
A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”
Hands started going up.
He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up.
He then asked, “Who still wants it?”Still the hands were up in the air.
“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.
He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. “Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.
“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way.
We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!