During this session we will explore definitions of critical thinking, the characteristics of critical thinking, and the building blocks for logical thinking. We will explore the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy, particularly what it means to analyze and evaluate to create questions that encourage critical thinking from students.

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Activity: Characteristics of Critical Thinking

Definition of Critical Thinking

1. "Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action" (Scriven, 1996).

2. "Critical thinking is thinking that assesses itself" (Center for Critical Thinking, 1996).

image: http://en.wikipedia/org/wiki/File:Paris2010-LePenseur.jpg


Activity: Building Sound Arguments Through Debate

Critical thinking involves identifying, evaluating and constructing arguments. Arguments take a position or state a premise that leads to a conclusion.


"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof."
~Henry David Thoreau

Activity Directions:

After we discuss the process for developing a sound argument, you will participate in a mock debate to model how to teach the process for argumentation.
Using Tricider, create and respond to the argument posted below on the wiki.

  1. Position - Governor Weeblewarp is a great governor.
  2. Evidence - Supported by the fact that the state has zero percent unemployment and the average salary in her state is $75,000.

Reference: UNC Writing Center

Mock Debate - Traditional vs. Year-round Calendar

Direct Link: http://tricider.com/brainstorming/Ur1s

powered by tricider

Using Debate to Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Activity: Revised Bloom's Taxonomy and Critical Thinking

The North Carolina Essential Standards were developed based on Revised Bloom's Taxonomy (RBT). While the Common Core State Standards were not based on RBT, using this taxonomy can push our students to think more critically.

Activity Directions:

This activity is based on the following book:

Bellanca, J. A., Fogarty, R. J., & Pete, B. M. (2012). How to teach thinking skills within the common core: 7 key proficiencies of the new national standards. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
how to teach thinking skills.jpg

Each table will work with one of the verbs from Revised Bloom's Taxonomy.
  1. Read the vignette, description of the verb, and the "Looks Like/Sounds Like" table.
  2. Explore the graphic organizer or acrostics found on the Solution Tree website.
  3. Create one of the following:
    • An instructional strategy that is aligned with your verb
    • An assessment to determine students' abilities with this verb
    • A metacognitive reflection to help students "think about their thinking"
  4. Decide where in the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy table your strategy, assessment, or reflection fits.
  5. Record your thoughts on chart paper. Each group will have 20 minutes to work and will then share out.


Visit the Solution Tree website for reproducibles and live links:


Revised Bloom's Taxonomy resources:

Get a Stopwatch like this or make your own! At: Online Stopwatch

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