Teaching Critical Thinking Skills To Children

Teaching Critical Thinking Skills To Children-23
The kit includes an infographic that makes a nice handout or poster for your classroom.It also includes a one-page teacher guide for each of the five question/concept pairs — perfect for quickly developing mini-lessons and facilitating student discussions.

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Classroom discussions are a great way to encourage open-mindedness and creativity. Critical thinking is not dependent on language, so it might be helpful to have ESL students make critical connections first.

They can do this using their own language and then find similar connections that exist using the English language.

The Amsterdam art museum where this snapshot was taken has created a special app with questions for students.

The museum even installed benches making it easier for them to respond, after being introduced to the Rembrandt classic by a docent.

The goal, of course, is to help students begin to develop skills of discernment and to sharpen their own critical thinking tools (in this case, their brains! If you’ve browsed any of my previous media literacy columns and articles here at Middle Web, you’ve become accustomed to reading how teaching students to ask the “right” questions is the key to their understanding today’s media, including social media.

One of my own favorite techniques is to demonstrate critical thinking and media literacy instruction by showing a series of slides from the news or popular culture and simply ask: “What’s going on in this picture?The theme of this latest “media literacy” column is taken from a bumper sticker I saw recently on the back of a car in front of me (below). But have they wondered what the implications might be for them?You might agree that understanding bumper stickers is also media literacy. It’s not clear who produced the bumper sticker or the slogan. When I talk to people, mostly those in education, they agree that their students simply don’t think critically nor do they ask good questions.That includes photographs, magazine articles, commercials, video/film clips, social media messages, TV programs and much more (yes, even bumper stickers and slogans on t-shirts).The Center for Media Literacy offers a downloadable “Media Lit Kit” that elaborates on each of Thoman’s questions as well as five parallel media literacy core concepts.They interpret events and situations, evaluate claims and credibility, and assess the reasons offered for why they should think or do something.This article was co-authored by Paul Chernyak, LPC.► In what ways are you assessing the critical thinking skills your students are learning?► In what ways are you engaging students in asking questions about media messages?” At a recent arts integration education conference in my home state of South Carolina, I displayed the following photograph and asked the mostly teacher audience my standard question.As you might guess, some participants responded with a groan, perhaps triggered by confirmation bias.


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