Critical Thinking Skills Teacher Resources
Find Critical Thinking Skills educational ideas and activities
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New! American Indian Art History Detectives
An art history detective; I want to be one of those! The class puts their heads together to hone their deductive and critical thinking skills in order to determine which Native American tribe created and used parfleche boxes. They'll use maps, research, and discussion to complete this fun and engaging task.
Book Project Lesson Plans
Long term book projects can help engage students and enhance their critical thinking skills .
Experiment with electric circuits and conductivity. Young scientists will model and discuss how an electric circuit works. First they will draw a model of the flow of electrons and then build an actual circuit. Finally, they will explain the circuit path and test the conductivity of a variety of materials. They use critical thinking skills to explore circuits and conductivity of materials. Be sure to check the materials list before planning for this activity.
Detective Fiction: Focus On Critical Thinking
Turn your 6th graders into detectives while growing their love of reading. Using critical thinking skills, they will be able to describe the five basic elements of detective fiction, read detective novels, make predictions, use the scientific method, and write their own detective story. This engaging activity includes all plans and questions.
Using Artifacts to Engage Students in Critical Thinking Activities
Creating learning centers with artifact-related activities are a great way to promote deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills.
Understanding Social Commentary
By learning how to identify and understand social commentary students can flex their critical thinking skills.
Defining success: A debate about success encourages critical thinking skills
Students develop critical thinking skills while exploring new ideas about success, discuss people they consider to be successful, and identify how they measure or define their own personal success.
Celebrating 100 Years of Negro Leagues Baseball
Ninth graders locate original locations of Negro Leagues Baseball teams using latitude and longitude, calculate distances between locations using maps and/or Internet resources, and use critical thinking skills to compare and contrast travel over the past century.
Happiness is A Warm Puppy
Students investigate dog breeds and write a short story from a dog's perspective. In this dog research and writing lesson, students watch the film, "Dog: The Early Years. They apply critical thinking skills to determine which type of dog would be best for them before writing a short story from a dog's perspective.
Students practice mathematical concepts and use problem solving. They manipulate food items and solve problems. Students use critical thinking skills and problem solving strategies as they solve problems.
Reading the Movies: Another Approach To Teaching Critical Thinking Skills And Writing
Students explore the elements of film to analyze character, action, and the themes in the movie, "Quiz Show." The lesson encourages students to make personal connections and real life applications as they view the movie, critically.
Seven directions: Making connections between literature and American Indian history
Stereotype or archetype? Myth or fact? Middle schoolers apply critical thinking skills to assess the validity of the images and story details in picture books portraying Native American history. The study begins with an examination of Susan Jeffers’ Brother Eagle, Sister Sky, listed as a book to avoid by the Oyate website. The plan details how to direct readers’ attention to the messages sent by illustrations and how to check the facts of a story. As a contrast, class members are introduced to Joseph Bruchac’s Between Earth and Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places and create their own compass rose.
The Game is Afoot - A Study of Sherlock Holmes
Mystery is an exciting genre for young readers to get into. The plots are so intriguing! Here is a series of lessons which invite learners to enter the world of the mystery genre. Sherlock Holmes mysteries are featured. Pupils create their own detective stories and publish them in a book format. They must also try their hand at solving mysteries by using inductive reasoning skills. A highly recommended series of plans that are sure to be a hit!
Understanding First Jobs
Eighth graders consider what it takes to get through the interview process by conducting one. They create interview questions to use as they dig for the truth about first jobs and they interview each other. After the interviews they get into small groups to compare notes. Consider having learners interview an adult as homework.
Understanding and Fighting Stereotypes through Words and Images
Use some provocative modern art to get your class considering stereotypes and the impact they have on us all. Your class will discuss the print art Indian Look-Alike by Melanie Yazzie and stereotypes in general before conducting research to create an educational pamphlet dispelling the stereotypes of a particular culture or race. Combining research and critical thinking skills with historical knowledge, this instructional activity idea would be perfect for any English or American history classroom.
DR-TA Reading Strategy
Foster critical thinking skills by using the DR-TA Strategy with Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” Class members read portions of the essay, stop and discuss what is happening, make predictions based on evidence from the text, and evaluate the effectiveness of the satire. Designed as an introduction to Candide, the activity could be used with any text.
To Fight Or Not To Fight: a Debate About Violence Encourages Critical Thinking Skills
Students read article about student violence, discuss why it happens, and explore non-violent options.
Debating Controversial Issues: Integrating Science and Current Events
In order to give young scientists experience with critical thinking skills, introduce them to a current controversy and prepare them to debate. Choose a topic, such as genetically modified organisms, and assign groups to represent different parties of interest. Modifications are suggested depending on the amount of time you have available for this lesson. The plans are thoroughly written and will save you plenty of planning time.
Comparing Christmas Around the World
Christmas inspired lesson and project ideas that help students sharpen critical thinking skills.
Creating Open-ended Problems in Algebra
Creating open-ended algebra problems can help students develop the critical thinking skills they need.