365 ways to teach critical thinking
How many times throughout the course of your teaching career have you said to students, “Come on now, think critically about this?” We’ve lost count, but one thing we never forget is the importance of teaching our students to persuade, to evaluate arguments, to recognize contradictions and identify assumptions (all critical thinking skills).
Thanks to an online resource (and now a book) called 365 Ways to Make You Go “HMMM…,” our students are honing their critical thinking skills—and they don’t even know it.
Every day, you’ll find a new “hmm-provoking” question on the site. We find that this is a fun way to close out the week and if we have enough time at the end of class, we’ll often spend the last five minutes working through one of the questions. Here’s a sample question:
In which direction is the bus traveling? (The only possible answers are “left” or “right”). Explain your answer.
Here are two of the answers posted by students:
- It could go left if it was an American bus because they drive on the right-hand side
-Joey in Year 5
- It is going to the right because English buses have the door on the left-hand side but since you can’t see the door, it is going right.
-Ofili, Millennium Primary School
Each question asks students to be creative; to think about ordinary things is unordinary ways—and this isn’t the only resource you’ll find on the website. Click here to review some of the other great teaching sources they offer.
If you’re looking for more ways to teach critical thinking skills, check out two of our recent blogs, Dear Elvis, How Do I Teach Critical Thinking?
and 2 Lesser-Known Benefits of critical thinking: FUN...and Ice Cream