Critical Thinking Lessons For Elementary Students

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Critical thinking refers to a person's ability to actively reason, analyze information, and apply the appropriate response to produce a desired result.

Critical thinking is also defined by the use of metacognition, or thinking about one's thinking.

In this case the criteria are: is it true, is it good, is it useful. Critical thinking is all about establishing the validity of an assumption or an action when you see or hear it, and especially before you say it or do it. Soon during a class discussion I noticed that one of the Elements of Reason or a Standard would be screaming out at me from the wall chart.

You might even call this a lesson in critical thinking (which, lo and behold, happens to be what we call it). You get there by asking the right questions and then seeking out honest answers, regardless of where it takes you. I was beginning to see how the elements and standards are alive and at play in all of the thinking that we do day in and day out, and the charts simply reminded me of this and allowed me to draw the class’s attention to the element or standard relevant to our discussion.

Begin by having your students draw six sides of a cube.

Each side of the cube will focus on a different aspect of the assigned topic by asking critical thinking prompts.

offers online resources to help you understand how critical thinking works and ways you can develop these essential skills in the classroom.

Developing Critical Thinking Skills will give you some context on how to approach critical thinking skills with different ages of students.

Mind mapping is an activity that can be done collectively as a class, or as an individual exercise.

The mind map is started by writing a central topic on the board and then drawing lines from the topic to other ideas, facts or even questions as the conversation progresses.


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