Home

Language Arts Reading

Critical Thinking Skills

Lesson Objectives

  • Discover critical and creative thinking
  • Examine the four components of critical thinking
  • Learn how to apply critical thinking skills

What is Critical Thinking?

  • Critical thinking is the process of constructing and evaluating meaning
  • Critical thinking allows you to take in information through all of your senses (hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, seeing)

Four Components of Critical Thinking

  • Logical/analytical – reasoning through facts and applying your experiences to solve a problem, answer a question, or explain an opinion
    • Example - getting a bad grade on a test (blame the teacher instead of blaming yourself)
  • Self-reflective – integrate new information with prior knowledge
    • Example – If you fail a test, you should analyze it to see where you went wrong and proactively fix it for the next test

Four Components of Critical Thinking

  • Conscious – being aware of your thinking
    • Example – reading the text so your mind doesn't wander
  • Purposeful – focused on a particular task (ie. Solving a problem, making an important decision, or answering questions)
    • Example – making the decision to get a job if you need one (part time, full time, on-campus, off-campus)

How Do I Apply Critical Thinking Skills

  • Using critical thinking skills allows you to apply what you've learned
  • Applying your knowledge means you have the ability to read information and use it in other life situations

What is Summarizing?

  • Once you are able to identify the Main Idea in a selection/paragraph you can
    • Summarize — re-tell the paragraph/selection in your own words; contains the most important details only.
    • Ex. You read a paragraph about basketball and re-tell the selection in your own words with only the most important details.

What is Creative Thinking?

  • Creative thinking is similar to critical thinking in that there are the 4 components
    • A creative thinker uses "invention" vs. a critical thinker that uses "analysis"
    • Example - An American Idol contestant sings an old song, but puts a creative twist on it

Let's Practice

Please complete the Practice exercises, followed by the test in this module.