Thinking and Reasoning Teacher Resources

Find Thinking and Reasoning educational ideas and activities

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Students investigate the role of women in leadership in history. They conduct research in order to find the real story. The lesson stresses the fact that women are not well known in history. There is a variety of activities in this unit study.
Mature audiences are required for this instructional activity on implementing health-related policies. First, they openly explore the CDC obesity page while taking notes about what they discover. Then they view a PowerPoint about the success of public policies in different countries. Finally, they choose an issue to write about, imagining what consequences could come about if enforced. Note that the PowerPoint presentations for this instructional activity are not included, but they are easily located via an online search.
Students use Europe in the Round software to investigate terrain of Eastern England and Western Netherlands, establish that both have areas of low- lying, flat land below sea level, and discuss cause and effects of extreme weather conditions, such as tidal waves, on both countries.
High schoolers view newspaper articles and photos from the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection databases to inform them of events and places in their town at the turn of the 20th century. They create a poster illustrating things that happened during these years.
Fourth graders predict, observe, and compare what happens when a force is applied to an object. In this forces instructional activity, 4th graders complete a 'swinging hammer' activity to learn about forces and motion.
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.
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.
Eighth graders read a book from a digital library about jealousy. They discuss their feeling about jealousy and carefully read the story. They answer a series of questions and write a one-page paper describing a real or imagined incident of jealousy.
Students read article about student violence, discuss why it happens, and explore non-violent options.
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.
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 lesson idea would be perfect for any English or American history classroom. 
Students design informational materials to educate people on the importance of matching a new pet to the family's lifestyle and living arrangements. Students use critical thinking skills to make a decision on the appropriate choice for a family pet. They collect, organize, represent and interpret data , and design informational materials to educate people on the variables involved in pet selection.
High schoolers, in groups, evaluate an advertisement for a health-related product. They use a worksheet to consider the advertisement and product and then present their findings to the class.
By reading and analyzing examples of persuasive text, students can get a better idea of how to form their own essays.
Third graders explore and develop interest in reading of foreign lands through the reading of The Arabian Nights and a variety of Cinderella stories. Students participate in a variety of folk literature activities. Students recognize the voice in different books.
As young learners prepare to be successful in the 21st century, teachers can promote critical thinking by implementing Quadrant D learning activities.
Ah, Impressionism, one of the most studied genres of art. High schoolers study the works of the major French Impressionist painters: Renoir, Monet, Degas, Gauguin, Seurat, ToulouseLautrec, Utrillo, Pissarro, Cassatt, Morisot, and Caillebotte. They create products for presentation and use reading and writing strategies in various activities.
Build comprehension, inference, and conclusion skills by encouraging learners to see the importance of reading between the lines.
Christmas inspired lesson and project ideas that help students sharpen critical thinking skills.
Fourth graders use research tools to access and synthesize information. They gather and manipulate data using technology. Research and study the components of an electrical circuit. Create a brochure that demonstrates knowledge of how to make an electrical circuit or etc.