Thinking and Reasoning Teacher Resources

Find Thinking and Reasoning educational ideas and activities

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Work across content areas with an engaging project that highlights higher-level thinking, teamwork, and a STEM focus.
The importance of considering multiple perspectives of the same event is the big idea in this exercise that focuses on the Boston Massacre. Class groups examine photos of four depictions of the massacre, an English and an American newspaper account, trial testimony, a clip from an HBO film, and then read their textbook account of the event. Using information gained from these documents, individuals write a letter to the editor of either a British or an American newspaper and assign blame  for the event.
This short multiplication worksheet requires young mathematicians to engage critical thinking skills as they use logic to problem solve questions about multiples and patterns. In addition to exercising their mathematical reasoning skills, students are required to write out their responses for three of the five word problems on this worksheet making it a great Common Core resource and promoting literacy across the curriculum. This resource does not include an answer key.
In this visual math puzzle worksheet, students work in groups to find the answer to 6 math puzzles. They work with geometric shapes and symbols.
Students read article about student violence, discuss why it happens, and explore non-violent options.
This instructional activity is preparation-intensive, but well worth the investment. You will construct five or six portable testing stations with which lab groups will gather data on the best position for collecting sunlight with a solar panel. This is the second part of a two-part instructional activity, best used in middle school science classes as part of a unit on alternative energy sources.
Young art critics consider symbolic protection as it has been used in various cultures around the globe. They view body art from the Marquesas Islands, looking for animals, letter, shapes, and patterns. They compare and contrast body art that symbolizes protection and then design a protective tattoo of their own.
Students can build upon their basic math skills and become higher order thinkers when we encourage the following principles.
Learners through fast research and practice are given the opportunity to cultivate their unique speaking skills through presentations in front of their peers. They strengthen their critical thinking skills while preparing what they quickly have to present. Each student presents an impromptu extemporaneous speech.
Help readers learn to create their own open-ended questions for any text you are working with. Using Bloom's Taxonomy, learners begin on the lower levels and work their way up to form questions that focus on synthesis instead of simple reading comprehension. Guided statements will facilitate the process for your class.
Students determine how artists create setting. In this visual arts lesson, students complete the "Observing a Scene," worksheet and then respond to discussion questions about the selection. Students then use the clues they read about to discern how various artists created settings in their works.
First graders read a book about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. In this underground railroad lesson, 1st graders learn songs and code words that the slaves used to communicate with one another. Students discuss how all people should be treated, as well as how they feel Harriet Tubman worked to free the slaves.
In this thinking skills worksheet, learners read a famous quote by Robert F. Kennedy and write a short response on what the famous quote means to them.
For this ocean food chain worksheet, students examine 4 pictures regarding the ocean food chain then number them so they are in the correct order. Next, students complete 4 short answer questions about the ocean food chain that require higher order thinking skills.
Learners explore primary and secondary sources. In this historical research lesson, students use the internet to find sources of information . Learners describe what information they gained from the document or program.
Read Dangerous Minds with your language learning disabled pupils to identify characteristics and connect to literature. This is a specific activity intended for use with the suggested book. The class uses a character map  as a way to compose their own chapter or journal entry for the book they have read. A great way to finish a great book.
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. 
Use this presentation as a means to spark discussion and promote critical-thinking skills in your classroom. Learners read and discuss a series of questions such as whether animals can talk. This presentation provides a good way to have your class engage in research, think through a problem, and exercise creativity.
This lesson starts out with a guided discussion about the statement "Birds fly in the sky; airplanes fly in the sky; therefore, airplanes are birds" and goes on to cover logical fallacies and reliable sources, relating these to the topic of hate and how people spread hate. The lesson asks learners to investigate an unreliable website in order to demonstrate logical fallacies and hate spreading. You might need to find your own website, since the website they cite is no longer the same.
Students design a quilt square to reflect their special memory. In this family heirlooms activity, students read The Patchwork Quilt and discuss the importance of family involvement in creating a family heirloom. Students write and publish a story about a special memory, then design a quilt square to reflect their story.