Learning How To Think
Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in
the English Classroom
Presented by Helen Heinrich, PCV
What is Critical
Thinking?
Definition: From www.criticalthinking.org
Critical thinking is that mode of thinking —
about any subject, content, or problem
— in which the thinker improves the
quality of his or her knowledge by
skillfully analyzing, assessing, and
reconstructing information.
Ask, Think, Create
For Example

Context Clues
–

Process of elimination
–


Language learning
tests
Summarizing and synthesizing
information
–
Reading comprehension
–
Prepare for university
Problem Solving
I want
YOU
To think critically!
Context Clues: find the meaning
without a dictionary
Context Clues
"Seems to know as much about
the inside of my kitchen as I do
myself!" thought Mr. Baggins,
who was feeling positively
flummoxed, and beginning to
wonder if a most wretched
adventure had not come into his
house.
- Adapted from“Chapter 1:An
Unexpected party,”from The
Flummoxed
likely means:
Hobbit,most
By J.R.R.
Tolkein
Flummoxed: (adj) very confused
http://www.totalfilm.com/news/comic-con-09-peter-jacksontalks-hobbit
How to Practice
Practice questions
Meaningful sentences
●
●
●
Bad: Bilbo was flummoxed.
Also Bad: “Flummoxed” means very
confused.
Good: She was so flummoxed by his
unusual behavior, she could not speak.
Your turn: Use “strong” in a meaningful
sentence.
Multiple Choice: “When you have
eliminated the impossible...”
Multiple Choice
I ___________ very early yesterday
morning by a loud noise.
A. wake up
B. woke up
C. was put to sleep
D. was awoken
Elimination
I ___________ very early yesterday
morning by a loud noise.
A. wake up
Wrong Tense
B. woke up
Wrong Voice, right
verb
C. was put to
sleep
Not Logical, right
voice
D. was awoken
Which Is different?
Why?
Summary and Synthesis
Summarize, don't
plagiarize!
Answer Wh questions about the text
Who/what is it about?
Where/when did it take place?
How did it happen?
Find the main point
the moral of the story
The news item
The theme of the poem
Synthesis
Why does the text matter?
Personal opinion
Compare and contrast with other
ideas/texts
Retell the story, or make up your own
Let's Practice!
What is happening?
Why might this be funny?
Write three sentences about what happens next.
Mistakes are made..
Mistakes are for learning.

Ask why the incorrect answer was given.

Go through the process again.

Indicate that a mistake was made, but
make them find the correct answer.
–
Ex: red = spelling, blue = article, circle
= missing word, etc
Let's Sum Up!
True of False: Critical Thinking is not
important for English teachers.
Critical thinking is a.) a rock band, b.)a
process of selecting the right answer
c.)really difficult to teach
Guess the riddle: The greatest computer
you will ever know, you carry me with
you where ever you go
For More Information:

More on Critical thinking:
http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/ourconcept-of-critical-thinking/411


The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, 1934
Test Preparation:
http://www.learn4good.com/languages/spec_e
nglish_toefl.htm

Brain Teasers: http://www.brainbashers.com/

My email: [email protected]
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