Critical Thinking in Literacy – Primary

Here is a fantastic strategy for developing research and communication skills in literacy, and supporting the student outcome of critical thinking.
Students in Allison Plumsteel’s grade 2/3 class were learning about report writing. Through viewing and deconstructing examples of report writing, and co-constructing the success criteria for an informative and organized report, the students were led through a Gradual Release model to develop their skills in researching, organizing information, selecting the best information for their purpose, and evaluating the quality of the information. This was followed by students selecting a presentation mode that best suited their learning style and purpose (Adobe Voice, Adobe Slate, Explain Everything).
This picture is just a snapshot representing one piece of the gradual release of responsibility model, and serves to highlight how critical thinking is embedded in the process. While collecting facts and information about their selected topic, the students recorded their information on a graphic organizer web. Then they paired up and read each piece of information to determine what category it best fit into (example Habitat, Food, Protection, Characteristics). Each fact was circled in a colour to match the category the students selected, based on the headings identified in other mentor texts. Students then reflected on whether or not they had sufficient information to provide the reader with a meaningful reading experience. Students then returned to the research phase to add appropriate details.
Next, the students were able to use the colour co-ordinated facts to group them together easily under subheadings and begin the process of transferring their jot note facts into sentences and then organized paragraphs. The students were then introduced to the apps that they could select to communicate their findings in their report.Critical Thinking and Collaboration example2