From the Bookshelves

June 1, 2015 Sandra Anderson

Resources for critical thinking

To match this issue’s theme of critical thinking, your ATA library is pleased to highlight some of the many titles that will support you in helping students develop crucial critical thinking skills. If you are interested in more titles on this or any other topic related to your professional practice, please contact the friendly staff at your ATA library at or call 1-800-232-7208 and ask for the library.

New Books

Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk That Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings
Zwiers, Jeff and Marie Crawford. 2011. Markham, ON: Pembroke Press. (370.152 Z98)
Interestingly, a reviewer of this book said that “Students will actually ENJOY the activities in this book.” Is it possible for students to actually like having academic and critical conversations in the classroom? Request this book and put those claims to the test.

Action Research for Kids: Units That Help Kids Create Change in Their Community
Latz, Amanda and Cheryll Adams. 2013. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press Inc. (301.07 L351)
This excellent resource for introducing students in grades 5 to 8 to project-based learning includes lesson plans and ideas to enhance existing lessons. Each unit includes outcomes, background knowledge, vocabulary and required materials and suggests ways to differentiate instruction.

Becoming Young Thinkers: Deep Project Work in the Classroom
Helm, Judy H. 2015. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. (371.36 H478)
Designed for preschool and early primary teachers who have already introduced project work in their classrooms, this book provides ideas for deepening the learning of project work so that students and teachers can move beyond the basics to more meaningful learning.

The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking
Krogerus, Mikael, Roman Tschäppeler and Jenny Piening. 2012. W.W. Norton & Co (153.83 K93)
Life presents us with hundreds of moments of decisions every day. The authors briefly examine 50 models for developing better decision-making skills and provide examples of each model in use.

Developing Mindful Students, Skillful Thinkers, Thoughtful Schools
Buoncristiani, Martin and Patricia Buoncristiani. 2012. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin (370.152 B943)
The ability to memorize facts is not enough to equip students to solve problems or navigate the 21st century world. We need to help students to become flexible, metacognitive thinkers, and this book demonstrates how school leaders can build a culture of critical thinking within their schools.

Encouraging Metacognition: Supporting Learners Through Metacognitive Teaching Strategies
Kolencik, Patricia Liotta and Sheila A. Hillwig. 2011. New York, NY: Peter Lang (370.152 K81)
In this text, the authors compile practical metacognitive strategies that educators can teach students to develop their critical thinking skills. Strategies include thinking aloud, thinking journals, thinking mnemonics, thinking maps and thinking as a reader.

Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding
McTighe, Jay and Grant Wiggins. 2013. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (371.3 M499)
This best-selling book provides teachers with examples of questions in all subjects that draw thoughtful responses from students, and explains how to design more of these questions for use in your classroom.

Examining Reasoning: Classroom Techniques to Help Students Produce and Defend Claims
Ocasio,Tracy L. and Robert J. Marzano. 2015. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory (153.4 O15)
Can your students recognize flaws in their own arguments and logic? Students need to develop this critical thinking skill when considering their own reasoning and the arguments of others. Ocasio shares techniques for mastering this strategy in instructional practice in the classroom.

The Five Elements of Effective Thinking
Burger, Edward B and Michael Starbird. 2012. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (153.42 B954)
The authors present a simple idea: you can learn how to think better by adopting specific strategies to look at the world and by asking questions. They provide anecdotes and concrete ideas for practicing their techniques.

Intelligence Quest: Project-based Learning and Multiple Intelligences
McKenzie, Walter. 2012. International Society for Technology in Education (371.36 M478)
McKenzie presents a new instructional model, the Intelligence Quest, which brings together ideas from multiple intelligences and project-based learning. He discusses how current coursework can be adapted to help students develop each of the nine intelligences.

Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions
Rothstein, Dan and Luz Santana. 2011. Harvard Education Press (371.37 R847)
Learning can be transformed if students are given the tools to develop their own questions, say the authors. They discuss the “Question Formulation Technique” and explain how teachers can teach this technique to students of any age.

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
Levitin, Daniel J. 2014. Toronto, ON: Allen Lane Publishers (153 L666)
Through an examination of neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Levitin gives the reader insight into how our brains organize information and then suggests ideas for hacking that system so that our brains can better absorb the deluge of information that we take in every day.

The Power of the Social Brain: Teaching, Learning, and Interdependent Thinking
Costa, Arthur L and Pat Wilson O’Leary. 2013. New York, NY: Teachers College Press
(370.15 C837)
Co-operative learning is one of the most effective teaching strategies, but educators often neglect the important role that interdependent thinking plays in the process. Through an examination of the cognitive dimension of co-operative learning, the authors provide useful insights to teachers in creating successful group work experiences in classrooms and professional educational learning communities.

Science Stories: Using Case Studies to Teach Critical Thinking
Herreid, Clyde Freeman, Nancy A Schiller, and Ky F Herreid. 2012. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association (507.1 H564)
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate so that audiences will absorb and retain information. Storytelling makes us care about dry facts and figures. Aimed at high school science teachers, this book provides teachers with another tool for engaging their science classrooms.

Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights
Klein, Gary A. 2013. New York, NY: Public Affairs
(153.4 K64)
Through the examination of many critically important moments of insights — like the breakthrough discovery of the structure of DNA, the first announcement of the AIDS epidemic and using fires to fight fires — Klein presents his theory into how significant insights are developed and what impedes them.

Sparking Student Creativity: Practical Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving
Drapeau, Patti. 2014. Alexandria, VA: ASCD (370.157 D765)
With a focus on teaching students to creatively approach learning itself, Drapeau provides teachers with dozens of ideas for including creative and engaging elements in their lesson plans.

Teaching Argumentation: Activities and Games for the Classroom
Rogers, Katie and Julia A. Simms. 2015. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory (370.152 R727)
With engaging games and activities, Rogers provides teachers with tools to teach students in any grade how to develop argument and critical thinking skills. She provides clear suggestions about the grade level each activity can be used with and examples of how these activities can be incorporated into the classroom.

Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions
Brookfield, Stephen D. 2012. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass (153.42 B871)
Critical thinking is one of the most sought after skills in the 21st century job market, but it is a skill that not all job seekers possess. Brookfield explores how students learn to think critically and what teachers can do to assist students in developing this capacity.

Teaching Thinking Skills
Johnson, Stephen and Harvey Siegel. 2010. 2nd Edition. London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group (370.152 J69)
In this interesting new edition, Johnson and Siegel engage in a spirited debate about thinking skills: do they exist, can they be taught and are they transferable? An engaging presentation of the issues around teaching critical thinking.

Teaching and Learning Second Language Listening: Metacognition in Action
Vandergrift, Larry and Christine Chuen Meng Goh. 2012. New York, NY: Routledge
(418.0071 V232)
In this useful book for ESL teachers, the authors share timely research and different theoretical perspectives on listening and how it applies to second language learners. They also include teaching plans and ideas to support students developing more critical listening skills.

Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry
Krauss, Jane and Suzie Boss. 2013. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press (371.36 K91)
Written for teachers who want to introduce project-based learning into their classrooms, this book discusses the basics of project-based learning and how teachers can design projects to work in their classrooms. The authors provide many examples of how to create critical thinking experiences in different projects.

Visual Thinking Strategies: Using Art to Deepen Learning Across School Disciplines
Yenawine, Philip. 2013. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press (707 Y45)
To teach visual thinking strategies, teachers facilitate discussions of selected works of visual art through structured, open-ended questions. Yenawine shows how visual thinking strategies can be integrated into elementary classroom lessons in just 10 hours during a school year to create learner-centred environments where students are involved in deeper learning.


L’éducation aux médias – 30 activités pour comprendre les médias et développer le sens critique [Titre original : Reading for Media Literacy – Navigating the world of new texts]
Vize, Anne; et Elaine Turgeon pour l’adaptation québécoise. 2011. Montréal, QC : Chenelière Éducation (302.23 V864)
Manuel pédagogique pratique et informatif conçu pour amener des élèves de 9 à 14 ans à réfléchir, à lire et à rédiger de façon avisée, proposant des d’activités aussi intéressantes que stimulantes sous trois catégories : Comprendre les médias, La publicité décodée, et Les médias sur le bout des doigts. Le même format est employé pour les 30 activités présentées, chacune sur deux pages bien agencées et visuellement attrayantes.

La formation du jugement – 3e édition
Sous la direction de Michael Schleifer. 2010. Québec, QC : Presses de l’Université du Québec (370.152 S339)
Cet ouvrage est constitué des textes présentés lors d’un colloque à l’Université du Québec à Montréal en 1991 par 18 professeurs spécialisés dans des domaines liés au sujet à l’étude. Le développement de la pensée critique et la formation du jugement sont plus que jamais des sujets pertinents pour les éducateurs. Chacun sait aujourd’hui que bien enseigner et préparer ses élèves au monde de demain consiste avant tout à développer leur pensée critique pour les amener à penser et à juger par eux-mêmes, individuellement.

Des questions pour apprendre – Enseigner aux élèves à se poser des questions et à utiliser adéquatement les réponses
[Titre original : Q Tasks: How to Empower Students to Ask Questions and Care about Answers]
Koechlin, Carol et Sandi Zwaan; Gervais Sirois et Sylvie Dubé pour l’adaptation en français. 2010. Montréal, QC : Chenelière Éducation (371.37 K77)
Les questions sont une clé importante de la compréhension. Sans ce catalyseur, l’apprentissage ne serait que mémorisation. Plus de 80 activités conçues pour encourager la curiosité et la créativité sont proposées dans ce manuel pédagogique dont le but est d’aider les élèves de 8 à 14 ans à se poser les bonnes questions pour comprendre et apprendre (de nombreuses fiches de travail reproductibles sont incluses).

Stratégies pour développer la pensée critique et créative
[Titre original : Strategies for Developping Higher-Order Thinking Skills – Grades 3-5]
Conklin, Wendy; et Brian Svenningsen pour l’adaptation en français. 2014. Montréal, QC : Chenelière Éducation (370.152 C752)
Ce manuel pédagogique a été conçu pour permettre aux enseignants de développer chez des élèves de 8 à 12 ans ou plus des habiletés supérieures de la pensée. En plus d’un riche contenu théorique et de nombreuses stratégies d’enseignement, comme le modèle de William et la taxonomie de Bloom, il contient 34 activités complexes sur des sujets variés, 95 fiches de travail et des corrigés d’activité.

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