Critical Thinking Lessons For Elementary Students

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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.

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.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.Games are a great way to get students engaged and develop their critical thinking skills in a fun environment.All critical thinking begins with asking questions.This lesson will encourage students to use primary sources in conjunction with the video “The 19th Amendment: A Woman’s Right to Vote” and the timeline found on Annenberg Classroom to understand how various events contributed to the changing views and attitudes on women’s suffrage leading to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.Students will focus on the Abolitionist Movement, the Reconstruction Amendments, and World War I to explain how these events helped or hindered the women’s suffrage movement.You must implement activities that will make your students ask themselves how they would solve a problem or express an opinion.Below are some activities and games that draw upon different critical thinking skills. “You want to tell me something bad about one of my students, even though you’re not sure that it’s true? “Then let me ask you one last question,” said Socrates.In other words, he lays out a set of criteria for determining whether or not it’s right to tell someone something about someone else. Ethical Reasoning and the Art of Classroom Dialogue demonstrates how to use critical thinking to generate great classroom discussions. I just put them up on the wall and continued to teach in my regular manner.


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