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Thinking Skills

Site: Westsyde Secondary
Course: English 8
Book: Thinking Skills
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Friday, 20 July 2018, 2:55 PM

Types of thinking

Terms to Know:

Creative Thinking
Design Imagine
Synthesize Anticipate
Determine CombinePredict
Elaborate Transform Interpret
Explain Change Envision

Critical Thinking

Using symbols, pictures, and images

“These thoughts did not come in any verbal formulation. I rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards.”  Albert Einstein

Why images?

images of images

What part of the brain responds to visual descriptions?

"Talking about the pictures and the story they depict, activate the organizational centers in the frontal lobe and serves as an important step in helping students bridge from visual-spatial thinking to verbal production." 

"Creating symbols and pictures to represent knowledge is a powerful way to reinforce our understanding.  It can be surprisingly difficult to convey meaning without the use of words, so the task itself can become a high-level synthesis and meaning-making activity.  It is a challenge for verbal learners to expand their thinking and expressing.Michael Gurian

The process of trying to capture the main concepts and put them in to a graphic representation is a high level synthesis task.

Research shows...

parts of the brain

Graphic Organizers

"Writing may mean using words.  Ultimately, of course, it does - but must it begin that way?"

  • Organize your ideas in space before organizing them in words.  
  • Graphic organizers are a visual representation of knowledge.  They help with organizing ideas.  


Graphic Organizer Race

In teams of 4-5 race against the other teams to draw as many types of graphic organizers as you can think of.

We will create a master list of these diagrams and charts.

Classify Organizers

Working with our master list, classify the organizers in to categories: cyclical, sequential, hierarchical, chronological.  Be prepared to explain your classifications.  Are there any organizers that belong in more than one category?

Finding a Purpose

Match different purposes of writing to different graphic organizers.  Which organizers work the best?  Which ones are adequate for the purpose?  Which ones are not recommended?

Reference Poster

Create exemplars of graphic organizers on chart paper.


...using concept maps

Brainstorming a strategy that helps you to extend knowledge

        • to discover ideas
        • to develop ideas
        • to expand on ideas
Brainstorm webs/mind-maps help you develop ideas based on a single topic.

Practice brainstorming


What is something you know a lot about?   Make a mind-map about that one thing.


What is something you know a little bit about?  Make a mind-map.   This time you will need to "extend your thinking" by including words or thoughts that are somewhat connected. 


What is something you know very little about?  Make a mind-map....and let your thinking wander.  Add ideas that could be connected, or some how related.  


A "freestyle" brainstorm is a type of thinking where you get to choose your direction.  Connections are made between ideas, although they might not always be connected to the main topic.  

Taking Notes

There are many ways to take notes:

Linear style: 

lists with bullet points and headings

chart notes (i.e. Cornell)

TedTalks: How to Tie Your Shoes

Watch this informative video on tying shoelaces: