Do you have students continuously struggling to grasp critical thinking skills and strategies? Graphic organizers can help!
I always get asked, “isn't critical thinking skills for the teachers and reading specialists?” Yes! But we can help too! If our students can't comprehend what to do with these types of questions when we take the reading piece out…than it is the language of what is expected of them…and it is our domain! We also have tricks up our sleeves that can help our students grasp these skills. One way I like to help…make it visual!
How can you make critical thinking visual?
Using graphic organizers! Help them see what is expected, what to do with the language of the picture or text, and how to generate responses. They need it broken down. It doesn't have to require much prep too! You can just grab paper and a pen!
Want to be able to use the paper over and over and make it a little more fun? Just put it in a dry erase sleeve!
Being consistent and providing tons of models and repetition will really help! Learn more about my inferencing strategies by CLICKING HERE!
Ok…how where to start?
I like to start with pictures. Teach students how to identify facts/evidence and how to interpret questions.
As you can see…I just took a piece of paper and help students look at the image to find facts and things they can prove and even elicit background knowledge. You can grab these Inferencing Picture cards HERE.
I also like to put it all together on one worksheet and as a print and go using my Inferencing Worksheets Using Real Photos which you can learn about by CLICKING HERE.
How about once they grasp picture level?
Once students grasp using pictures you can move to paragraph level that is at or below their reading level so you are not working on reading.
As you can see I love just grabbing paper and making it visual. Color coding helps too. (Passage taken from my Text Evidence Print and Go Pack).
What other critical thinking skills can you work on using graphic organizers?
- Context clues
- Social inferencing
- and more!
Have mixed groups? No worries!
You can easily use passages that are bombarded with articulation sounds and have students complete graphic organizers based on the passages.
Breaking it down will help them be successful, see what is expected of them, and build confidence. It doesn't have to require a ton of prep…we don't always have time for that! Just making if functional will generate results!