No Series: Scaffolds for Critical Thinking (Uncut)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature K-\x80\x935
  • 4:  4th Grade
  • 7: 
    Make connections between the text of a story
    or drama and a visual or oral presentation of
    the text, identifying where each version reflects
    specific descriptions and directions in the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Scaffolds for Critical Thinking (Uncut)

Lesson Objective: This is 49 minutes of authentic teaching, unedited, and without teacher narration.
Grade 4 / ELA / Inquiry
49 MIN


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. Lesson opener strategy Read aloud Critical thinking strategies Analysis of diverse texts Discussion of concrete vs. abstract?


  • Private message to Amenah Saleh

this is a great observation critical thinking classroom. that a great job.

Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Bonnie Taylor

It seemed to me this activity was not right-sized for the amount of time devoted to it.  The oral readings took the majority of time, and it wasn't clear what the intended outcomes were for this activity that would promote critical thinking.  It had good ideas and techniques on display, but ultimately I found the teaching strategy to be confusing.  

Recommended (2)
  • Private message to Alejandra Lagarda

I agree. In addition, the paragraphs were quite long, which may pose a problem for some students because many kids cannot read at our pace. They need sentences reread to them to help their comprehension.

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  • Private message to Christine Garner

This lesson was a great introduction to concrete and abstract concepts. Using the book Stripes as a read aloud she expanded on the idea of red (concrete) and green (abstract) things. The students were starting to really understand the difference between things you can touch and ideas. The books had situations that kids could relate to and were of high interest. The instructor was great at modeling the think aloud strategy and was excellent at questioning the students to clarify their thoughts. Lastly the instructor introduced the students to text from a graphic novel to continue the red/green theme.

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  • Private message to Joann Miller

Ms Wessling immediately gets the kids engaged to items found in her box.  She has them think about Red & Green, and what it means. Words that were written in red represented things you could touch in real life, and words in green represented things you could feel in real life. It was a great excercise that made the kids think. She also used definitions with her description and had them talk about the meaning of the words. Great to see kids engagaed and participating.  

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  • Private message to Chirag Rana

I love how the teacher began the actitivity with the introduction of the box because it immeadiely caught every students gaze as for what could be unveiled.  It was also really cool that she would allow her students to be able to contrast what words go into each category. Words that were written in red represented things you could touch in real life, and words in green represented things you could feel in real life. I even liked that she correlated the lesson in during her read aloud session where she would pause to the class on certain words in the story that either mean they are able to touch or feeling. As a whole the lesson is something I feel that students won't really pick up the first time around, but with much practice they'll be able to grasp at the core concepts from this lesson nicely. 

Recommended (1)


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