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.

Standard IV: Teachers facilitate learning for their students.

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Definitions 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, 1996b).

Characteristics of Critical Thinking


Activity: Creating, Analyzing, and Revising Critical Thinking Questions

Text exemplar - Grade 4-5

Revised Bloom's Taxonomy Chart

Appendix B: Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts

Critical Thinking Stems

In this part of the activity, you will work with a partner to revise the questions you created on the text exemplar or to write new critical thinking questions. Then, you will have an opportunity to review questions created by other participants, and vote on a question you like.

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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.

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
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:

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