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KiC-1  The Puzzle Exercise (The starting point)

Kata in the Classroom

The KiC-1 exercise brings the Improvment Kata pattern alive through
a 50-minute hands-on activity that involves teams working on a number of self-generated iterations to complete a small puzzle.

Students follow the steps of the Improvement Kata to (1) face a challenge, (2) see where they are now, (3) establish their next interim goal, and (4) experiment toward that goal in three-minute rounds. There is a reflection on learnings after each round, which leads students to their next experiment in the next round.

KiC-1 illustrates the four-step Improvement Kata pattern and helps students recognize that ideas need to be tested, no matter how certain we might feel. After doing the puzzle exercise you can use
and build on its scientific-thinking pattern in many other activities.

Everything you need to run the exercise is shown below. Instructions for setup and conducting the exercise are at the start of the PowerPoint file, so start by downloading and reviewing the PowerPoint file. It's recommended that you run the exercise exactly as designed once or twice. Then you can adapt it as you wish!

The items you need for the KiC-1 exercise

(click to download - free)


Facilitate the exercise directly from this PowerPoint file. In 'presenter' mode it has prompts for what to say at each slide.

Click on the puzzle to order at Ravensburger. Use the teacher coupon code kic20us which gives you a one-time 40% discount.   Temp unavailable :-(


Currently one puzzle is available from Amazon.


You need one puzzle per team of 4 or 5 students.

Download & print these

three items

The poster prints best as .pdf

Download the KiC-1 PowerPoint This walks you through the exercise step by step.

Latest Update:  January 2023

Order the


START HERE: Download and read through the PowerPoint file to familiarize yourself with the exercise

Once you've run the KiC-1 exercise, think about where else your learners can apply the four steps of the Improvement Kata. It takes some meaningful repetition to develop scientific-thinking skill. A student project? A report? A particular goal? For ideas & examples visit the "Examples" page of this website.

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