George Lucas Educational Foundation

Critical Thinking

Whether via classroom discussions, analysis of written text, higher-order questioning, or other strategies, learn and share ways to help students go deeper with their thinking.

  • Using Comics to Teach the 4 Cs

    When students read comics or create their own, they have an opportunity to develop their creativity, critical thinking, and communication and collaboration skills.
    David Seelow
  • 5 Ways to Boost Critical Thinking in World Language Classes

    One way to raise students’ engagement is to ask them to do more work—meaningful work with authentic materials from the target culture.
  • A Lesson Planning Framework That Leads to Productive Struggle

    Dialogic learning is a form of collaborative inquiry that works like gradual release of responsibility in reverse—beginning with “you do.”
  • A Deceptively Simple Strategy for Promoting Critical Thinking

    Using giant whiteboards is an easy way to encourage teamwork, differentiate, and foster deep engagement with content.
  • Preparing Social Studies Students to Think Critically in the Modern World

    Vetting primary resources isn’t easy—but doing it well is crucial for fostering engagement and deeper learning in a rapidly changing world.
  • Want Mastery? Let Students Find Their Own Way

    Prominent scholars say that to drive deeper learning, students need to become accustomed to confusion—and develop the persistence to find their own answers.
  • Scaffolding Discussion Skills With a Socratic Circle

    Students deepen their understanding and build a sense of community by engaging with their peers’ reasoned arguments.
  • 6 Scaffolds That Deepen Independent Learning

    When teaching problem-based lessons, use thinking scaffolds to propel students toward greater expertise and deeper learning.
  • How to Lead Students to Engage in Higher Order Thinking

    Asking students a series of essential questions at the start of a course signals that deep engagement is a requirement.
  • How to Increase the Cognitive Demand of Lessons

    Tips for bringing students to that mental state where they’re so engaged with a task that they use all their mental resources and don’t notice time passing.
  • Getting to the Heart of What Students Know in Math

    Challenging problems with several paths to the solution encourage students to develop their understanding of mathematical concepts.
  • 60-Second Strategy: TAG Feedback

    This quick exercise scaffolds peer critique for elementary students.
  • Scaffolding Complex Topics in Middle School Social Studies

    Children’s books and movies can help introduce topics like economic systems and make new material accessible for students.
  • Framing Social Studies Lessons Around Works of Art

    Using paintings and other artworks in lessons can help teachers meet content-area standards connected to promoting student inquiry.
  • Questioning That Deepens Comprehension

    Scaffold students’ thinking about complex texts by asking what the text says, how it works, what it means, and what it inspires them to do.