Critical Thinking/Higher Order Thinking Skills

Parents, students in Fourth Grade will be using Critical Thinking Skills to answer questions in class, homework, and assessments. Watch these videos to help better understand Critical Thinking.

Critical Thinking Video 1

Critical Thinking Video 2

Critical Thinking Video 3

Critical Thinking Video 4

Critical Thinking Video 5

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking involves logical thinking and reasoning including skills such as comparison, classification, sequencing, cause/effect, patterning, webbing, analogies, deductive and inductive reasoning, forecasting, planning, hyphothesizing, and critquing.

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking involves creating something new or original. It involves the skills of flexibility, originality, fluency, elaboration, brainstorming, modification, imagery, associative thinking, attribute listing, metaphorical thinking, forced relationships. The aim of creative thinking is to stimulate curiosity and promote divergence.
While critical thinking can be thought of as more left-brain and creative thinking more right brain, they both involve "thinking." When we talk about HOTS "higher-order thinking skills" we're concentrating on the top three levels of Bloom's Taxonomy: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Benjamin Bloom developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior in learning. This taxonomy contained three overlapping domains: the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. Within the cognitive domain, he identified six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Types of Critical Questions

Questions of clarification: Examples —Could you give me an example? —Is your basic point ___or___ ?

Questions that probe assumptions: Examples —You seem to be assuming ___ —How would you justify taking this for granted? —Is this always the case?

Questions that probe reasons and evidence: Examples —How could we go about finding out whether that is true? —Is there reason to doubt that evidence?

Questions about viewpoints or perspectives: Examples —How would other groups or types of people respond? Why? What would influence them? —How would people who disagree with this viewpoint argue their case?

Questions that probe implications and consequences: Examples —What effect would that have? —If this and this are the case, then what else must also be true?

Questions about the question: Examples —To answer this question, what questions would we have to answer first? —Is this the same issue as?

What is the purpose, goal, or point?

What is the problem or issue being solved or described? On what data or evidence is the decision / definition / problem based?

What inferences are being made from what kind of data, and are these inferences legitimate?

What is the solution, outcome, or resolution of the problem or issue?

What are the short-term and long-term implications of the solution / consquences of the outcome?

If all else fails, just ask WHY?


When reading, annotate your text by:

PREDICTING   - make a hypothesis (guess) about what you think the reading will be about. Look at the title, headings, first paragraph, and a make a prediction.

CLARIFYING - check for understanding of the concepts and vocabulary in the passage/paragraphs being read.

QUESTIONING - ask questions about the text (ideas, vocabulary, concepts). Ask inferential questions (what's not being said).

CONNECTING - connect the new to the known.

EVALUATING   - look at the entire text and your notes to come up with a concise evaluation (in summary form) about the reading. Identify the author's purpose, intended audience, and main idea of the text.