Critical Thinking in Action: Sustainability
Students will be exposed to various entry points of a sustainability topic in various formats. They will take notes as they experience those expressions on the Elements of Thought evidenced throughout. This in-class, two-part lesson includes an independent guided activity and a Think-Pair-Share activity for further reflection on source/ claimant evaluation.
Prior to this lesson, instructor will have chosen a topic relevant to their subject area or course content – Possible examples: food deserts, clean water in US, bee colony collapse.
Instructor will also have selected (commenting on this topic directly):
• One short-form video product (I.e. TED Talk, video essay, documentary clip, recorded speech, or other topical video informational product)
• One published essay, opinion editorial, or commentary
• One informative (unbiased) article or reference entry.
The duration of the in-class activities for this lesson is approximately 60-75 minutes. Length and difficulty of content should be considered when selecting the examples.
Find additional resources on the Paul-Elder Critical Thinking models on https://www.criticalthinking.org/ctmodel/logic-model1.htm
• Students will closely listen and/or read information in order to recognize elements of thought
• Students will identify key components of written/ oral arguments for point of view, purpose, question at issue, information, interpretation and inference, concepts, assumptions, and implications and consequences
• Students will determine their information need (next steps for research) based on notes
Information Literacy concepts:
Individual or Group:
This lesson was created as a possible proposal for embedding in a freshman level composition course with a thematic focus on sustainability as a part of the college's QEP (theme: critical thinking). The theme for this lesson is highly adaptable, as are the individual sources. The Elements of Thought referred to throughout the activity are from www.criticalthinking.org and the Paul-Elder Model for Critical Thinking.