Critical Thinking Exercises for KidsPear Tree Education
Pear Tree Education
17th Dec, 2014

FREE Critical Thinking Exercises for Kids

Want Your Child To Practice Critical Thinking? Look No Further!

We’ve put together a series of free example critical thinking exercises for kids that you can practice at home or at school

Instructions

  • Each exercise consists of a picture and some questions.
  • The pictures come in two formats: PDF and PowerPoint. If you would like to print the picture to hand write on it, use the PDF version. If you would like to use a computer (perhaps in Google Slides) or SMARTboard, the PowerPoint version will be better.
  • All of the questions are based on those shown below. However, to make it easier for your child to understand the questions, we’ve customised these for the specific example photos. You can also download these using the links below.
  • Unless your child is older (and motivated), I strongly recommend that you go through the questions with your child. Here are the suggested options:
    1. If you want the focus to be on the picture, you could read the questions out for them.
    2. If you want the focus to be on learning the questions to think about, you could get your child to read out the questions.
    3. If you want to put some emphasis on learning how to make notes, you may want to write the notes on the paper for your child. You would need to do this in a way that explains how you are making these notes, so that they learn from you.
    4. If you want to put some emphasis on writing practice, you can get your child to make the notes. Don’t worry about how they do this, though, because they aren’t going to be perfect by any means! Also, don’t worry about the essay writing part at this stage. We’re practicing critical thinking, not essay writing. It would be asking too much to expect both at this point.
  • Do NOT answer the questions for your child, and do NOT correct them. If they make mistakes, they should learn from them by realising their own mistake. Of course, if they don’t understand the question (i.e. answer it with an illogical answer), by all means guide them – just don’t spoon feed answers or expect them to conform to your train of thought. Imagination plays a tremendous role in critical thinking, so imposing your views with only hamper this.
  • EXTENDED QUESTIONS:
    • For older children (12+), you can make this more challenging by asking the following questions:
      • Which of the two pictures is more serious? Why?
      • What examples of either of these situations have you seen at your school? What happened? How was the problem resolved?
      • What does your school say about dealing with these situations? Do you agree? Why/Why not?
  • In the next few days, we’ll post further examples, as well as suggested answers for these pictures to compare with. Remember: there’s no right or wrong answer!

Finally, Pear Tree Education wishes you and your family our best wishes for Christmas and the New Year!

Example 1

Download original using links below

Download original using links below

PDF

PowerPoint

Questions

Example 2

Download original using links below

Download original using links below

PDF

PowerPoint

Questions

Critical Thinking Questions (original version)

PEOPLE & CHARACTERS: Who / What?

Critical Thinking - Who / What
  • NAME / ROLE: Who are they? What do they do?
  • AGE: How old are they?
  • PERSONALITY: What kind of people are they?
  • APPEARANCE: What do they look like? What are they wearing?

 

More challenging ideas:

  • SOCIAL STATUS: What social class are they?
  • EDUCATION: How would you rate their intelligence?

PLACES: Where?

Critical Thinking - Where
  • LOCATION: Where are they? What is the place like? What can you see there?
  • INHABITANTS: See People & Characters
  • TRAVEL: Where do they go?
  • DISTANCE: How far is it?

Note: This can be used for all locations from small locations (e.g. a room) to big locations (e.g. a planet).

TIME: When?

Critical Thinking - When?
  • WHEN: What time of day / day / month / year / era is this?

ACTIONS: What happens?

Critical Thinking - What happens?
  • ACTIONS: What do they do? What are they doing?
  • MANNER (of action): How did they do it?
  • SPEECH: What did they say?
  • MANNER (of speech): How did they say it?
  • EVENTS: What happens / happened? How did it start / finish?

FEELINGS: How… feel?

Critical Thinking - How feel?
  • PEOPLE’S EMOTIONS: How do they feel?
  • PEOPLE’S OPINIONS: What do they think?
  • YOUR EMOTIONS: How does this make you feel?
  • YOUR OPINIONS: What do you think?

REASONS/RESULTS: Why?

Critical Thinking - Why
  • REASONS: Why? (about everything!!!)
  • RESULTS: What happens (could happen) because of this? (this involves making connections)

 

 

If you haven’t been following this series, here are the links to the previous parts:

PART 1: CRITICAL THINKING: HOW A CHILD CAN START THINKING DEEPLY

PART 2: CRITICAL THINKING FOR KIDS IN ACTION

PART 3: CRITICAL THINKING FOR KIDS IN ACTION

PART 4: CRITICAL THINKING FOR KIDS IN ACTION

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