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 Evaluate arguments, evidence and/or assumptions in the formation of opinions or conclusions (be a critical thinker).

 

 Emphasize that arguments are not to be equated with personal opinions rather they need to be supported by evidence (facts, statistics, examples, proof, data, research, statements, etc.).

  • ​Conclude reading exercises with scaffolded summary prompts. For example: Begin by asking students to identify the author’s overall argument/thesis statement. Next ask them to analyze and predict (e.g. What kinds of evidence does the author use to support their claim(s)? What methodology do they employ? What are their theoretical frameworks? What literature is cited?).  Finally, ask students to explain whether they agree or disagree with this position and formulate possible counter-arguments. 
  • Using debate as part of a lesson encourages all students to be engaged in exploring the issue being discussed. .  “How to get Your Whole Class Debating,”  
  • Debate activities are valuable not just for teaching public speaking skills, but students develop critical thinking, research and organizational skills. Learn strategies for maximizing the benefits of debate in your class “Classroom Debate.” ,  “Want to Facilitate a Debate in Your Class?” ,  “Using Classroom Debates to Engage Students,” 

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 Ensure that class discussions comments and ideas contribute to the group’s understanding of the material and concepts.

  • ​Deepen your awareness of the types of questions you can ask and the value of each question type. It also provides examples that you can use as a model for developing your own questions: Class Discussion Questions
  • Ask open-ended, analytical, or opinion questions to increase participation and sequence questions to progress toward higher order thinking.
  • Experiment with using a Fishbowl strategy as a way to empower students to take responsibility for the discussion.

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