Critical thinking is more than just being able to think clearly about a topic or a problem. It is a crucial life skill that every student must learn. Many of our students will not learn this essential skill at home, so it becomes extraordinarily important to increase critical thinking at school. (In the meantime, you can get parents more engaged with our Parent Accounts.) Teachers have actually been using Studies Weekly to incorporate critical thinking skills in their classrooms for decades. Here are some ideas that we’ve come across.
1. Start by Asking a Question
The easiest way to increase critical thinking in your students is to begin your lesson with an open ended question. The question should require some research and problem solving. One thing we encourage teachers to do is have students read an article out of their Studies Weekly and discuss it as a class. What are the similarities between the people in the article and your students? What might your students do differently for alternative outcome?
5. Teach Open-Ended Problem-Solving
Assign a student or a group of students a problem. Perhaps they have to build a tower or hat out of unrelated out of unrelated, very different ingredients. The goal of the project is to get students learning how to problem solve. There will be a lot of trial and error and discovery, as students are forced to try different things to accomplish the goal.
Critical thinking is an essential skill for your students to have a successful adult life. For more of our classroom ideas and to download some free lesson plans, subscribe to our newsletter. Or you can sign up for a free sample of Studies Weekly here.