Critical Thinking

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The lesson introduces students to critical thinking skills that will help them with the content they read.  More importantly, using critical thinking techniques will help them to make daily decisions, grasp difficult concepts, and reason logically.  Because of the easy access to media, the Internet, and other sources, students often believe they have minimal opportunities to think for themselves.  The lesson will guide students to think for themselves and not allow others to think for them.  It is an important and significant skill for students to possess and use today.

Critical Thinking Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Critical Thinking
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice Critical Thinking
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson introduces students to critical thinking skills that will help them understand the content they read.  The lesson emphasizes that practicing critical thinking helps students learn how to think, but does not tell them what to think.  More importantly, using critical thinking techniques will help them to make daily decisions, grasp difficult concepts, and reason logically.  The lesson provides five steps students can use as they practice their critical thinking skills.  The lesson can be used to supplement a reading comprehension lesson for any subject area.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask: What is the difference between knowing how to think and knowing what to think?  (Display the underlined phrases.)
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Encourage students to give examples to help explain the difference between the two concepts.
  3. Ask students if they believe they know how to think? Ask students if they ever allow people to tell them what to think.
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce critical thinking, explain to students it is similar to what they have just done.
  5. Distribute Critical Thinking content pages. Read and review the information with the students.    Allow students to share their opinions about Noah and his dilemma.  (Teacher may introduce other scenarios for students to think about.)  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Group students in 3s or 4s.  Encourage students to actively discuss each question.  Circulate through the room to ensure students remain on task.
  7. Each student may also write their personal responses. Allow sufficient time for completion of all questions.
  8. When completed, conduct a class discussion.
  9. Distribute Practice page. Allow students to share responses, for Part C, ask students to share reasons for their responses.
  10. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, allow students to share and discuss their responses.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.8, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.8, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.8

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more reading resources?  Check out our other Reading Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Reading