Thinking and Reasoning Teacher Resources

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Fourth graders investigate the lives and societal contributions of Patrick Henry and Sojourner Truth. They complete a series of lessons that compare and contrast the biographies, historical context and work of these two revolutionaries.
Fourth graders read classic stories including "The Magic Brocade" and "St. George and the Dragon". They complete a series of lessons in which they compare stories and produce original narrative legends.
Young scholars read a story by James Clavell about propaganda and they discuss how it was used in the story. In groups, they decide what they would do if faced with certain situations.
Students examine a variety of aspects dealing with family life, survival, and mining in Colorado using primary and secondary sources. Research resources and handouts provide a background for this ten lesson unit.
Students are introduced to the concepts of magnetism and electronics. As a class, they walk through the steps of the scientific method and define new vocabulary. In groups, they are given a bag of objects and they are to separate them into magnetic and non-magnetic. They also discover on a basic level how electronics operate.
Young scholars, after researching and discussing the California Gold Rush, identify consequences of a lack of law and authority in the hypothetical California mining camp of Gold Flats. They are introduced to the Gold Flats Gazette, which describes problems within the camp.
Students read books by the author Keiko Kasza and complete critical thinking skills, and connections to different subjects. In this language lesson plan, students connect the books to language arts, social studies, science, math, health, and more.
Learners identify the plot and theme of cartoons. In groups, they discuss and compare the written and movie versions of popular fairy tales. Individually, they write their own fairy tale and share them with the class. They write their own speeches about which brother should marry the princess. To end the lesson, they perform the tale they wrote and receive feedback.
Learners in a special education classroom are introduced to how the universe and solar system was formed. Using the internet, they research the characteristics of Earth that support human life. In groups, they compare and contrast Earth's characteristics and other planets. To end the lesson, they discuss the possibility of traveling further into the solar system.
Fourth graders explore writing as a way to communicate. In this writing lesson, 4th graders articulate how they feel about an issue in their lives. Students share their works.
Seventh graders use a variety of strategies to solve problems with integers, fractions, decimals, and percents. In this number operations lesson, 7th graders discuss sales tax and use grids to represent money and percents. Students shade in the grid to solve percent problems. Students solve sales tax, discounts, and sales price percent problems. Students improve reasoning skills and visualize real world percent problems with the grids.
Young scholars are contacted by a fictitious company which raises tropical fish to do basic research for them so that they might keep their production costs down. They need to know the optimum salinity in which to hatch the brine shrimp that they use for food.
Students practice critical thinking skills as they evaluate which individuals from Earth they believe should be among the first colonists on Mars. They also practice interviewing skills through role playing.
Fourth graders read the book "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and respond to various questions and prompts to explore how to form and express opinions in various ways. The lesson is actually a series of ideas for each chapter of the book. Through active engagement your class will examine plot, characters, setting, and the art of good storytelling. 
Students review data about a health problem and prepare an investigative report. Teams trade reports and utilize skills developed from previous lessons to evaluate the critical thinking evident in the reports.
Students analyze recent media trends, and develop critical thinking skills by summarizing main ideas, extracting details, formulating opinions, drawing inferences, and comparing and contrasting attitudes. They also practice paraphrasing skills and review vocabulary.
Students develop a greater understanding and appreciation for their families. They increase personal self-esteem and pride as a result of studying about families through literature. They assess the importance of family values and traditions.
Students work cooperatively in small groups to practice note-taking and outlining skills which are applied as student create unit Study Guides for their classmates. They demonstrate critical thinking skills as they decide the most important points to be included on the Study Guide and create a Study Guide that their classmates will use as they study for a test.
Young scholars think critically about artistic freedom and evaluate the aims and effectiveness of censorship and education. They begin an investigation of the ongoing controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's "The Passion of Christ" by reading "New Film May Harm Gibson's Career." In small groups, students research the issues raised by the film and contribute two written pages to an intellectual guide designed to sharpen viewer's critical thinking skills.
Students use the classroom atlases, the Internet or textbooks to draw a freehand map. They work in groups using the maps in the book The Broken Spears (Portilla) and The Conquest of New Spain (Diaz) to draw a freehand map identifying the cities and lakes. Students use butcher paper to draw the map.