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16. Use prewriting or free writing: start class by having them write about todayʹs topic nonstop for 5 minutes (cannot lift pen from paper or stop writing for 5 minutes).

  • 17.

    Use peer review or small groups to evaluate each otherʹs inclass work.

  • 18.

    Use counterfactual questions: ʺBut what if...?ʺ “Why not…?”

  • 19.

    Require a learning log: have them keep a twocolumn notebook in which the

lefthand column contains topics of readings and lectures and the righthand contains what they think about the topics before and after coming to class (hand this in periodically for review).

20. Organize debates: ask them to take sides on an issue, choose groups of 2 or 3 to brainstorm, then have them present their positions in front of the class.

  • 21.

    Have them write dialogues around an issue: forces them to take both sides.

  • 22.

    Have them explain the purpose of any given assignment in their own words.

  • 23.

    Have them document their progress:

    • at the start of each class, they write what they think about the topic;

    • at the end of class, they explain how their thinking changed.

  • 24.

    Break assignments down stepbystep: many learners require small bits.

25. Encourage discovery rather than memorization: give problemsolving assignments (can be done in groups or peerreviewed to save you grading time).

26. Promote selfassessment: spell out grading criteria and make them apply it to their own or each otherʹs work.

27. Have them apply the criteria for ʺEvaluating Critical Thoughtʺ to an editorial in todayʹs newspaper, or to their own or a classmate’s work.

28. Have them organize and classify a group of short documents by points of view.

  • 29.

    Have them paraphrase a documentʹs argument in their own words.

  • 30.

    Have them rank a group of short documents in order by persuasiveness,

completeness, depth, breadth, and other criteria of good critical thinking.


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