Teachers Manual

Teachers Manual: The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking for Children

by
Linda Elder

 

The Teacher's manual is designed to provide teachers with strategies for using The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking for Children. It includes the following:


1. The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, a resource that briefly introduces teachers to the critical thinking concepts and theory they need to effectively teach children to improve their thinking and learning.

2. One copy of The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking for Children.

3. Suggestions for using The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking for Children and teaching basic critical thinking concepts.

4. "Think for Yourself" activities for children to help students internalize critical thinking ideas. These exercises are indicated by the symbol TFY in the Table of Contents. If your children are at the k-2 level or have reading difficulties, you can use the exercises as idea generators for verbally teaching the concepts.

All of the ideas in this manual have been used in demonstration classes with young children. In the ideal classroom, all children have their own copy of The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking for Children. As you use this mini-guide on a daily basis in your classes, you are giving your children a beginning place for developing their critical thinking and reasoning abilities.

Included in the Teacher's manual are strategies for using the masks of Fairminded Fran, Naïve Nancy and Selfish Sam. These characters can be used in helping children distinguish between skilled and unskilled thinking, as well as fair and unfair thinking. They are introduced in The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking for Children. To obtain these masks, contact us at (800) 833-3645. The size of the Teacher's Manual is 8 1/2" x 11". It is 61 pages in length.


Table of Contents

Introduction

Thirty-Five Dimensions of Critical Thought Formally Named
Thirty-Five Dimensions of Critical Thought Informally Characterized
Thirty-Five Dimensions of Critical Thought as Explained by Fairminded Fran

Part One: Fictional Characters That Help Children Understand Critical Thinking

Introduction: Meet Naïve Nancy, Selfish Sam, and Fairminded Fran

A Critical Reading Format

Role Playing Naïve Nancy, Selfish Sam, Fairminded Fran

Think For Yourself Activities For Children:

TFY#1: Describe Naïve Nancy, Selfish Sam and Fairminded Fran in Your Own Words

TFY#2: Who are You Most Like? Naïve Nancy, Selfish Sam and or Fairminded Fran


Part Two: Fair and Unfair Thinking

Introduction: Helping Children be Fair

Introducing Fair/Unfair Thinking

Using Journal Entries

Think For Yourself Activities For Children:

TFY#3: When Are You Fair? When Are You Unfair?

TFY#4: Thinking About When I Am Fair and Unfair: Journal Entry Format

Part Three: The Intellectual Standards
Introduction: Helping Children Evaluate Thinking
Clarity
Accuracy
Relevance
Logic
Fairness


Part Four: The Parts of Thinking

Introduction: Helping Children Analyze Thinking

Focusing on the Parts of Thinking as a Whole

§ A Checklist for Reasoning

§ Questions We Can Ask When We Understand the Parts of Thinking

Think For Yourself Activities For Children:

TFY#5: Analyze the Parts of Your Thinking When You Are Solving a Problem

TFY#6: Analyze the Parts of Thinking Of a Character in a Story

TFY#7: Working With Inferences

TFY#8: Understanding the Difference Between Inferences and Assumptions

TFY#9: Correcting for Faulty Inferences

TFY#10: Understanding Inferences

TFY#11: Faulty Assumptions People Sometimes Make Which Lead to Prejudices

Helping Children Think Critically About Ideas and Concepts

Leading a Socratic Question Dialog Focusing on Key Concepts

Think For Yourself Activities For Children:

TFY#12: Understanding the Concept of Greed

TFY#13: Understanding the Concept of Prejudice

TFY#14: Understanding the Concept of Cooperation

Part Four: The Intellectual Virtues

Introduction: Helping Children Develop Character and Internal Motivation

Think For Yourself Activities For Children:

TFY#15: Understanding Intellectual Perseverance

TFY#16: Understanding Intellectual Independence

Reviews

I am using the teacher's guide book based on the children's mini guide. I'm finding it so complete and rich, there's not a lot else I need to refer to. Of course I DO use all the resources I can.

We are working on Concepts this quarter. I have papers the 7/8 graders wrote on Cooperation. I want to pass them on to you. This week they are writing about Democracy. Very relevant, as we stumble toward war with Iraq. The Socratic dialogs in these classes I think would amaze and please you. Please consider a guest appearance sometime this year if your time allows.

The intellectual standards are getting grounded within the understanding of the elements of thought. When the kids have this even a little, it gets interesting, creative and fun. And it is great to see them light-up when they realize they have some power over their own minds. I feel that critical thinking helps to put a face on freedom.

Teja Bell,
Petaluma Charter School

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