lessons-ready-to-teach-critical-thinking-in-early-childhood-classrooms

Lessons ready to teach critical thinking in early childhood classrooms – readilearn

Even young children in early childhood classrooms can be taught to think critically about material that is presented to them. Being able to discern the accuracy of what they read is increasingly important in this era of fake news.

In this post, I provide some suggestions with lessons ready to teach using children’s picture books. The types of questions and ideas can be applied to other books for checking the accuracy of information.

To assist in verification of information, children can be encouraged to ask and answer questions such as:

  • What do we already know?
  • Does this match what we already know?
  • What do we want to find out?
  • How can we find out?
  • How can we be sure the information is true?
  • Is it fact or is it fiction?

Children, and adults, need to be aware that misinformation, often cleverly disguised as fact, is available everywhere, including on the internet. Being able to navigate one’s way through it all is a very important skill, regardless of age. This article by Tech Teacher Jacqui Murray has some useful advice about Fake News or Fact? How do you tell?

We don’t need to present young children with fake news stories to teach them the skills of critical thinking. We can begin with discussions of stories and information we present to them each day.

Continue reading: Lessons ready to teach critical thinking in early childhood classrooms – Readilearn

36 thoughts on “Lessons ready to teach critical thinking in early childhood classrooms – readilearn

  1. kevin cooper

    I couldn’t agree more. Critical thinking is a must during those early years to prepare us for later years when we have to make the important decisions that may have a profound effect on our lives and well-being. I wish I had been taught these skills during my childhood years.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Kevin. There’s too much of the blind following the blind I think. We need to open everyone’s eyes to see behind the smokescreens. (Though sometimes the smoke stings.)

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Darlene

    Children need to be encouraged to ask questions. It is so important to do this as a child so it comes naturally as an adult. It is crucial to their success in life. Good for you, Norah.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Jules

    I think there should be some lessons like this for adults. To shake out the real from the fake news. It is hard to believe news these days when it isn’t based on fact but opinion. Can we even trust the fact checking sites.

    It is also important to teach children the power of estimation. My one son had a teacher that let children estimate how many mini marshmallows they could stuff in their mouths 🙂 the answer doesn’t always have to be 100% if it is close enough that long stick can reach the swimmer in the pond who needs assistance.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      That’s right, Jules. Whose facts?
      How many mini marshmallows they could stuff into their mouths? That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. 😂
      You’re right, though. We do need to be able to estimate.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Jules

        I hope the teacher had an aide that day – all that sugar. But it really was just mini-marshmallows. They had to guess first then count out the pieces and then (I’m guessing after lunch) stuff the threat in their mouths. For some reason I remember my son having 23… Better than marbles in ones mouth. Could do marbles in a jar though. 🙂 I think the children enjoyed the experiment. 🙂

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        1. Norah Post author

          I can just imagine how much enjoyment the children would get from it. Marbles in a jar is a great idea. The first prize ever I won was by guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar. I asked the contest organiser if I could pick the jar up. She agreed. So I picked it up and counted the number of jelly beans in the bottom layer and the number up the side and multiplied them. Although I’m not sure that what I did was really fair, she told me I could pick it up … The prize was a beautiful old china clock with two birds sitting on a branch. I’m not sure what happened to it after I left home, but home is gone now so it is too. It leaves a strong memory though.

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          1. Jules

            The way you counted the Jelly Beans is just how my hubby would do it. Though even then because of shifting it would still be a very good guess.

            I’ve only won a few things in my life… And they were pleasant surprises. Old homes may disappear, and some of the things within them but when we write down our memories they become more permanent. And make for interesting reading for family and friends.

            Last year I actually won a two things at a holiday dinner, but I wasn’t looking to win the items for myself. I’ve been able to pass one item on. The other still sits on a shelf.

            Not much I need or want these days. But the friendships I’ve made through writing – they are priceless! Thank you!

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much, Carol. We just need to question everything. I guess children are naturally critical thinkers – ‘But why?’ – but their questions are too often shut down and then need to be started up again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. CarolCooks2

        I made a point of always answering any question my children asked depending on their understanding of course but my husband couldn’t stand the But Why? question and we had many a conversation on that one because our views differed. I think if a child ask why they should be given a proper answer…Hubby learnt…haha…

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  4. thecontentedcrafter

    That is an excellent post and resource Norah – one I hope many teachers and parents would want to follow up on. I am so impressed with how you have found a way to educate young students ability to find their way through this modern onslaught of misinformation without beating them about the head with the madness of the phenomenon itself. Personally I think this resource could be used by teachers of older students also – it would be a rare child who doesn’t know the story of ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ and who assume chrysalis and cocoon are synonyms. I know adults who think this is so 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your support, Pauline. I’m pleased you see it as an easy lesson to implement to get people thinking about the ‘information’ they read, see or hear.

      Like

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