5 Interesting Activities & Games for Boosting Critical Thinking Skills in Adults
Last Updated on February 10, 2022 by Editorial Team
With their superior intellect, humans have constantly been evolving to overcome their environment and barriers to their goals. Necessity, the adage says, is the mother of invention; indeed, the process of systematic analysis of an issue at hand to come to a conclusive judgment is how one solves the issue. This process is termed “ critical thinking “.
Akin to Sherlock Holmes’s deductive reasoning, critical thinking entails using one, or a combination, or all of the following steps :
- Observation of a given situation
- Wondering or formulating a question
- Imagining (“what could be the possible answers?”)
- Drawing inferences from the gathered information, assuming one of the possible answers was accurate. If there is sufficient relevant evidence, one may come to a definitive conclusion.
- Using stored Knowledge related to the subject matter to generate possible solutions or drawing inferences
- Experimenting, aka systematic observation/trial-and-error, to predict whether the inferences (as deduced from the above) will occur.
- Consulting or researching the situation to extract credible information from one or many sources, judging the acceptability of this information
- Identifying and analyzing arguments
- Judging based on all evidence
- Deciding on what to do
Critical thinking games push participants to go “out-of-the-box”, shatter “group-think” tendencies, and take non-conventional routes to reach a decision. Adults can handle more complex problems, and the settings in which such games are played may require them to socialize, making use of multi-dimensional skillsets and sources of Knowledge. Employees may be involved in brain training activities, but games can prove to be better for upskilling them.
List of activities that involve adults thinking critically!
1. shrinking vessel.
This is a team-building activity that is best played with more than 30 participants. The population is split up into small teams of 2-4, and everyone is enclosed in a shrinking space that can be achieved by flexible boundaries—rope, cones, etc.
As the area reduces, each team has to work in tandem to stand together. If the playing group is large, teams may need to eliminate opponent group members or reorganize themselves to fit the area until there is no room to accommodate.
Skills developed: Strategizing, space utilization, organization skills, awareness of the surroundings
2. Solving Mystery
When it comes to critical thinking, nothing can be better than playing detective. Split up the members into teams of 4-5 and give each team member a sheet of clues/information. Now, the list of information is incomplete or jumbled up. For example:
Member 1 gets a sheet with clues 1, 4, 5
Member 2 gets a sheet with clues 7, 3, 6
Member 3 gets a sheet with clues 2, 8
Member 4 gets the problem statement (the actual question that they need to solve).
Teams must follow the clues to crack the mystery (objectives may be hypothetical or uncovering the root cause of a real problem). With effective communication, participants learn to work on the problem by gathering all sources of information.
Skills developed: Collecting relevant information, eliminating redundant or irrelevant facts, problem-solving, effective communication
3. Film or Book Review
This individual activity aims to develop the participant’s keen eye and go beyond superficial aspects of a given movie/book. Participants can be asked to review their favourite literary/artistic piece over the weekend and present their critical appreciation. It will set them thinking on the purpose of their consuming rather than passively reading or watching.
When done in a group, there may be people who have watched it previously. The activity invites stimulating debate and discussion and brings to light many facets of a standard item. Some people may go above and beyond, seeking information about its music, author, director, etc., and draw inferences on the mood and contemporary times when the piece was written/set in.
Skills developed: Collecting relevant information, effective communication, multi-way thinking, creative thinking
4. Fact vs Opinion
In modern society, the difference between fact and opinion is a highly blurred line. While a fact can be proven true or false, opinions express one’s feeling or point-of-view, and therefore cannot be differentiated as true or false. The Socratic method of inquiry, which pushes participants to ask “why”, is the motivation behind this activity.
Here, participants are shown several statements on a screen/board that are either fact or opinion. Participants will mark each of these statements as “F” (if it is a fact) or “O” if it is an opinion. The next part is to have the participants explain why the statement can or cannot be proven to be a fact. Some questions that can be used to guide the discussion are available here .
Skills developed: Reasoning, logical conclusions, discussion
5. Connect 4
This beloved and popular strategy game can be played physically or online by people of all age groups. The objective is to connect four-player A’s colored coins in a straight line by dropping them into the coin holder before the opposition party does.
It requires the players to apply anticipatory thinking, thinking about all possible outcomes. It can be considered to be a simpler version of chess.
Skills developed : Problem-solving, anticipation.
While critical thinking demands a highly systematic approach, it does not mean you can’t tweak the rules. A cognitive bias is encountered when one generalizes a problem to be the same in all contexts; for example, water scarcity in village A may not arise from the same environmental factors as in village B. Therefore, the same solution cannot be applied to both scenarios.
Games are not just fun: they break the monotony and get participants to involve multisensory order thinking skills. These activities will help the workers and the organizations, boosting output and productivity.
Some games help us acquire critical thinking skills, making us productive and increasing our output in the workplace. It fosters trust and problem-solving skills.
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Become a better critical thinker with these 7 critical thinking exercises
Critical thinking is a skill you can use in any situation. Whether you're a student, entrepreneur, or business executive, critical thinking can help you make better decisions and solve problems.
But learning critical thinking skills isn't always an easy task. Many tools, techniques, and strategies are available, and choosing the right one can be challenging. Vague suggestions on the internet like "read more" aren't very helpful, and elaborate business examples don’t apply to many of us.
As average problem-solvers, we need actionable thinking exercises to improve our critical thinking skills and enhance our thinking processes. Regularly performing exercises that specifically stretch our decision-making and reasoning skills is the most effective method of improving our thinking abilities.
This article will explore several exercises that will help you develop critical thinking skills. Whether you are preparing for an exam, making an influential decision for your business, or going about your daily life, these fun activities can build your reasoning skills and creative problem-solving abilities.
Boost your logical thinking skills and start practicing a critical mindset with these 10 critical thinking exercises.
A Quick Look at Critical Thinking
As a thoughtful learner, you likely already understand the basics of critical thinking, but here's a quick refresher.
Critical thinking involves analyzing problems or issues objectively and rationally. Critical thinkers are able to understand their own biases and assumptions, as well as those of others. They’re also able to see the world from a different point of view and understand how their experiences impact their thinking.
Developing critical thinking skills is essential because it allows us to see things from multiple perspectives, identify biases and errors in reasoning, and be open to possible solutions. Making informed decisions is easier when we have a better understanding of the world around us.
Why We Need to Practice Critical Thinking
We aren't born with critical thinking skills, and they don’t naturally develop beyond survival-level thinking. To master critical thinking, we must practice it and develop it over time.
However, learning to think critically isn't as easy as learning to ride a bicycle. There aren't any step-by-step procedures to follow or supportive guides to fall back on, and it is not taught in public schools consistently or reliably. To ensure students' success, teachers must know higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) and how to teach them, research says.
Unfortunately, although teachers understand the importance of HOTS and attempt to teach it, studies show that their capacity to measure students' HOTS is low. Educator and author Dr. Kulvarn Atwal says, "It seems that we are becoming successful at producing students who are able to jump through hoops and pass tests."
As critical thinking skills become more important in higher grades, some students find it challenging to understand the concept of critical thinking. To develop necessary thinking skills, we must set aside our assumptions and beliefs. This allows us to explore and question topics from a "blank page" point of view and distinguish fact from opinion.
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7 Critical Thinking Exercises To Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills
The good news is that by assessing, analyzing, and evaluating our thought processes, we can improve our skills. Critical thinking exercises are key to this improvement. Our critical thinking builds and improves with regular practice, just like a muscle that gets stronger with use.
If you want to become a better critical thinker , here are some critical thinking exercises to try:
Exercise #1: The Ladder of Inference
You can exercise your critical thinking skills by using the Ladder of Inference model . This thinking model was developed by renowned organizational psychologist Chris Argyris. Each rung on the ladder of inference represents a step you take to arrive at your conclusions.
The decision-making process starts when we are faced with a problem or situation. As soon as we observe something problematic or important, we presume what is causing it, and then we use that assumption to draw conclusions. Based on those conclusions, we take action.
For example, say you're at a party and see a friend across the room. You catch their eye and wave, but they turn and walk away. Using the ladder, you might climb the rungs as follows:
- Observe that your friend walked away.
- Select a few details of the situation, including your wave and your assumption that they saw you.
- Meaning is attached based on the environment, making you think your friend must have other people to talk to at the party.
- Assumptions are made based on that meaning, assuming that means your friend doesn’t like you as much as them.
- Conclusions are drawn from the assumption, and you determine that your friend must be mad at you or doesn't want you to be at the party.
- Beliefs are formed, making you think you're not welcome.
- Action is taken, and you leave the party.
In this example, you started with a situation (someone walking away at a crowded party) and made a series of inferences to arrive at a conclusion (that the person is mad at you and doesn't want you there).
The Ladder of Inference can be a helpful tool to frame your thinking because it encourages you to examine each step of your thought process and avoid jumping to conclusions. It's easy to make assumptions without realizing it, as in this scene. Perhaps your friend never even saw you wave from across the crowded room.
Exercise #2: The Five Whys
The "Five Whys" technique is an analytical skill that can help you uncover the source of a problem. The activity was created by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota, and consists of repeatedly asking “why?” when a problem is encountered to determine its root cause.
This exercise can be difficult because knowing if you've discovered the source of your problem is challenging. The "five" in "Five Whys" is just a guideline — you may need to ask more. When you can't ask anything else, and your response is related to the original issue, you've probably arrived at the end.
Even if you need several rounds of questioning, just keep going. The important part that helps you practice critical thinking is the process of asking "why?" and uncovering the deeper issues affecting the situation.
For instance, say you're trying to figure out why your computer keeps crashing.
- You ask " why ," and the answer is that there's a software problem.
- Why? Because the computer keeps running out of memory.
- Why? Because too many programs are running at the same time.
- Why? Because too many browser tabs are open .
- Why? Because multitasking is fragmenting your focus, you're doing too many things at once.
In this example, working through the "why's" revealed the underlying cause. As a result, you can find the best solution, which is concentrating on just one thing at a time.
Exercise #3: Inversion
Inversion is another critical thinking exercise that you can use in any situation. Inversion is sort of like taking on the role of the devil's advocate. In this exercise, adopt the opposite view of whatever issue you're exploring and consider the potential arguments for that side. This will help broaden your critical thinking skills and enable you to see other perspectives on a situation or topic more clearly.
For example, let's say you're thinking about starting your own business. Using inversion, you would explore all of the potential arguments for why starting your own business is bad. This might include concerns like:
- You could end up in debt.
- The business might fail.
- It's a lot of work.
- You might not have time for anything else.
By exploring these potentially adverse outcomes, you can identify the potential risks involved in starting your own business and make a more sound decision. You might realize that now is not the right time for you to become an entrepreneur. And if you do start the company, you'll be better prepared to deal with the issues you identified when they occur.
Exercise #4: Argument Mapping
Argument mapping can be a beneficial exercise for enhancing critical thinking skills. Like mind mapping, argument mapping is a method of visually representing an argument's structure. It helps analyze and evaluate ideas as well as develop new ones.
In critical thinking textbooks, argument diagramming is often presented to introduce students to argument constructions. It can be an effective way to build mental templates or schema for argument structures, which researchers think may make critical evaluation easier .
Argument maps typically include the following:
- Conclusion: What is being argued for or against
- Premises: The reasons given to support the conclusion
- Inferences: The connections made between the premises and conclusion
The argument map should be as clear and concise as possible, with a single word or phrase representing each element. This will help you make connections more easily. After the map is completed, you can use it to identify any weak points in the argument. If any areas aren't well-supported, additional premises can be added.
Argument mapping can be applied to any situation that requires critical thinking skills. The more time you take to map out an argument, the better you'll understand how the pieces fit together. Ultimately, this will help you think more creatively and critically, and make more informed decisions.
Exercise #5: Opinion vs. Fact
Critical thinking activities that focus on opinions and facts are particularly valuable and relevant new learning opportunities. Our constantly-connected world makes it easy to confuse opinions and facts , especially with sensationalist news articles and click-bait headlines.
How can you tell a fact from an opinion? Facts are generally objective and established, whereas opinions are subjective and unproven. For example, "the cloud is in the air" is a fact. "That dress looks good on you" is an opinion.
Practice your critical thinking skills by reading or listening to the news. See if you can identify when someone is stating an opinion rather than a fact. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is saying what? What reasons might be behind their statements?
- Does the claim make sense? Who would disagree with it and why?
- How can you tell if the data is reliable? Can it be fact-checked? Has it been shared by other credible publishers?
- How do you know whether or not the presenter is biased? What kind of language is being used?
This powerful exercise can train your mind to start asking questions whenever presented with a new claim. This will help you think critically about the information you're taking in and question what you're hearing before accepting it as truth.
Exercise #6: Autonomy of an Object
In her book " The Critical Thinking Tool Kit ," Dr. Marlene Caroselli describes a critical thinking exercise called "Living Problems, Lively Solutions." This exercise uses the autonomy of an object as a problem-solving tool to find a possible solution.
To do this, you'll personify your problem and place it in another context — a different time or place. This allows you to uncover unique solutions to the problem that might be tied to your mental associations with that setting.
For example, if your problem is poor time management , you might personify the issue as a thief of your time. The idea of a thief could make you think of jail, which might prompt thoughts of locking up specific distractions in your life. The idea of jail could also make you think of guards and lead you to the possible solution of checking in with an accountability buddy who can make sure you're sticking to your schedule.
The autonomy-of-object technique works because it stimulates thoughts you wouldn’t have considered without the particular context in which you place the problem.
Exercise #7: The Six Thinking Hats
Designed by Edward de Bono, the Six Thinking Hats is a critical thinking exercise that was created as a tool for groups to use when exploring different perspectives on an issue. When people use other thinking processes, meetings can become challenging rather than beneficial.
To help teams work more productively and mindfully, de Bono suggests dividing up different styles of thinking into six categories, represented as hats:
- The white hat is objective and focuses on facts and logic
- The red hat is intuitive, focusing on emotion and instinct
- The black hat is cautious and predicts negative outcomes
- The yellow hat is optimistic and encourages positive outcomes
- The green hat is creative, with numerous ideas and little criticism
- The blue hat is the control hat used for management and organization
With each team member wearing a different hat, a group can examine an issue or problem from many different angles, preventing one viewpoint (or individual) from dominating the meeting or discussion. This means that decisions and solutions reached using the Six Thinking Hats approach will likely be more robust and effective, and everyone’s creative thinking skills will benefit.
Train Your Brain With Critical Thinking Exercises
Using critical thinking regularly in various situations can improve our ability to evaluate and analyze information. These seven critical thinking exercises train your brain for better critical thinking skills . With daily practice, they can become habits that will help you think more critically each day.
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9 Critical Thinking Exercises That Actually Improve Your Mind
Anthony Metivier | November 26, 2021 | Thinking
After all, the Internet is loaded with generic exercises like “read books written by leaders.”
Sorry, but that’s not a specific exercise. That’s a generic activity.
On this page, we’ll dive into specific exercise for critical thinking targeted at specific outcomes. Each exercise is designed to help you boost precise aspects of thinking so you can feel improvement as you go.
First, however, it’s good to understand what makes an exercise worthwhile.
So let’s dive in.
9 Critical Thinking Exercises That Create Laser Sharp Intelligence
Authentic critical thinking exercises must always involve:
- New learning by working with information you have not encountered before
- Variety so that you experience growth in multiple areas and don’t “burn out” on just one area
- Varying levels of complexity so you experience different challenges
- Consistent practice over time
Follow those guidelines and you will succeed.
Critical Thinking Exercises For Students
Students have many needs. Above all, they need to be able to understand how people make arguments and substantiate their claims with evidence.
One: The News Exercise
One great source for practice is the news.
For this exercise, head over to any news website. Look for an article that includes graphs, numbers, or any representation involving numerical data.
Here’s the kind of news representation I’m talking about:
As you examine the news, ask the following questions:
- How is the news trying to help you understand the data?
- Does the representation of the data make sense?
- How can you determine whether or not the graph is reliable?
- How can you determine whether or not the presenter is reliable and free from bias?
This is a power exercise that will sharpen your mind whenever you are presented with scientific data.
Two: The Abilities Exercise
Do you know anyone living with a disability?
I do and you can learn more about my mentor Jon Morrow in his article 7 Life Lessons from a Guy Who Can’t Move Anything but His Face .
After reading his post, imagine what it would be like if you could only move one part of your body. Write an essay that describes how exactly your life would change from the way it is.
Three: The Research Response Exercise
Take the following argument:
Pesticides harm the environment more than they’re worth.
As you think through this statement, answer the following questions:
- What kind of research do you need to conduct in order to answer both for or against this statement?
- How would you outline your responses? Use a structure like this: “if A then B, and if B then C, and if C then D, and in conclusion, if A then D.”
Critical Thinking Exercises For Business
People in business need to successfully navigate sales meetings and negotiate multiple levels of management in their careers. Here are some critical thinking exercises that will help you develop skills in these areas.
Four: The Prison Exercise
Pretend that you’ve been hired to sell a neighborhood council on building a new maximum security prison. This particular neighborhood is upper-class and filled with mansions.
What benefits can you bring together to explain why it would be a great thing for this neighborhood to house prisoners in this area?
What incentives can you include in the full package? As you consider both the benefits and the incentives, reign yourself in.
You want to think logically in order to make this a critical thinking exercise. If you indulge in flights of fancy, then it will be creative thinking exercise instead.
Anytime you get off track, these critical thinking examples will help you get back on this path.
Five: The Facial Expression Exercise
One way to improve business success is to develop your empathy.
For this exercise, gather a number of photographs from the newspaper or some magazines.
As you look through the photographs, practice identifying the emotions. If you feel like you’re lacking in vocabulary for the task, consider reading The Dictionary of Emotions . You can also use an online dictionary or thesaurus to come up with words.
Next, do some role playing. Pick one person from the photographs and imagine meeting them in real life.
List all the questions you would ask them in order to connect with them better based on the emotion you listed when you first saw the photograph.
Six: The Competitor Exercise
Think about your competitors in business.
As you go through each, list their purpose for being in business. What is it that they are trying to accomplish?
Be non judgemental, realistic and focus on the most significant aspects of their purpose.
Then, think about how you can contribute to the growth of their success without damaging your own.
Obviously, this is a very tricky critical thinking exercise, but I’m confident you’ll find it beneficial. If you’re into sports or any other realm where competition plays a role, this exercise is also helpful.
And if you really want to learn about critical thinking so you’re a master, check out these critical thinking books .
Critical Thinking Exercises For Adults
As mentioned, exercises that stimulate our thinking abilities are best if they are targeted at a particular outcome.
However, there is some room for general exercises that are good for everyone. Let’s have a look at some of my favorites.
Seven: The Stakes Exercise
Many times when you’re listening to an argument, it’s easy to get hung up on the details.
A great exercise is to simply ask: What’s at stake?
This means, what’s the real core issue? And who benefits the most if they get to be right on the issue?
As you complete this exercise, but sure to go through both the objective and subjective reasoning of both sides.
Also, you’ll benefit if you continually focus on how many possible answers might exist. It’s not always the case that there’s one and only one correct answer, even if situations require us to pick just one.
You’ll want to also spend time interpreting the information on both sides of the argument, and possibly doing follow-up research. In fact, if you don’t, it’s unlikely that you’ll improve your reasoning skills as much as you’d like.
Eight: Make An “Argument Map”
I’ve talked a lot about mind mapping on this blog. But there’s another powerful process called argument mapping .
This technique goes back to Plato. If you’ve read the Meno , you might remember how Socrates draws a set of figures in the dirt to display the concepts that come up during the discussion.
These days, we can use pen and paper or software to create an argument map. Here’s one from Evan Rodriguez .
To create one yourself, pick an argument where multiple reasons are involved and break things down.
In this example, Rodriquez has separated the “because” reasons and then used the graph to help him sort through the truth by visualizing a set of if/then parameters.
Creating such argument maps provide tremendous exercise. They’re also relatively quick to produce.
You might also enjoy learning more about the history of what is sometimes called “graphicacy.” Look up people and processes like:
- Ars combinatoria
- Giordano Bruno
- Petrus Ramus
- John Venn (who introduced Venn diagrams)
- Peirce’s Existential Graphs
Nine: Memorize the Fallacies
One of the best critical thinking exercises is to learn the fallacies so well you know them when you see them.
There are at least two kinds of fallacies: Formal and informal. This list of fallacies is very thorough.
To commit as many of these as possible to memory, you’ll want to learn a technique called the Memory Palace . I’m happy to help you learn it here:
Let’s say you want to memorize argumentum ad lapidem or the “ appeal to the stone ” fallacy.
You can memorize the Latin and English along with the meaning by thinking about a chair in your home and imagining yourself having an argument with a stone. In this image, you’re calling the stone’s arguments absurd without providing any evidence for why you believe this to be the case.
It’s a powerful technique and will help you spot fallacies in everyday life. Commit as many to memory as you can.
The Ultimate Critical Thinking Exercise
For thousands of years, people have asked “Who am I?”
You might not think about this as an exercise that relates to critical thinking, but if you really submit to the question as a practice, it helps your thinking across the board.
When you take away your name, your title, the roles you play in your profession and all the games of life, who are you really? Is there a “true self” in the mix that you can always trust to be the same?
To practice this exercise with more structure, get 15-20 index cards and write down personal qualities on each. They can be qualities like:
Sit down, take a deep breath and mix the cards.
Then, pick one of the cards and reflect on how that quality is perceived by others in your life:
Family, friends, co-workers. You might want to learn about how to think about yourself through the perspective of authors through my autobiographical memory post first. Or just dive in.
Next, imagine what it would be like if that quality was completely gone from your life. Who would you be without it? Can you glimpse your true self without this label?
Then pick up another card and repeat the process, linking each with a deep breath. Then follow-up by journaling on your experiences. Making sure to write after completing each of the exercises on this page is key to benefiting from the reflective thinking skills you’ll also want to grow.
Thank you for reading this article, and if you enjoyed these exercises, please consider going through these powerful brain exercises next.
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FUN Critical Thinking Activities
For students in any subject.
- Allow for more collaboration on rich content between students (student-centered)
- Provide higher level thinking questions
- Give ample wait time
- Increase critical thinking through authentic instruction
- Follow the DETAILS of your TEKS
- Know the vertical alignment of your TEKS and collaborate with other grade levels
The following are ideas for activities that you can use in conjunction with our curriculum in order to help meet some of these criteria, as it is necessary to adjust our mindset from TAKS driven packets to STAAR rich conversations and activities.
Pair - Square - Share
- Yes = Stand
- Depends = Sit and Raise Your Hand
3 Facts and a Fib
This helps with distinguishing between multiple choice answers.
FACT or FIB Slam Down
Differentiation and multiple representations.
Pass and Play
This helps with students distinguishing between and creating their own multiple representations.
- A word problem is posted on a graphic organizer (different problem for each person in the group).
- Boxes are strategically placed on the graphic organizer with various representations.
- Students choose the box they like, place their name in the box and complete the activity.
- When finished, they pass it to the group member to their right.
- Now everyone has a new problem
- They read the new problem, check their partner's box and complete a different box.
- Continue to pass and play.
Students work from a 2x2 or 3x3 grid in a tic-tac-toe format
Cubing and Think Dots
2. Students roll die to determine which 3 activities to complete.
3. Students work together to record their answers.
My number has nine digits
It is evenly divisible by 100
The value of one of the digits is 700,000
The digit in the millions place is both even and prime
The digit in the hundreds place is the temperature at which water freezes
The digit in the ten millions place is triple the number in the millions place
The digit in the thousands place is the number of fluid ounces in a cup
The digit in the hundred millions place is a special number because it is a factor of every number.
- Place butcher paper around the room with different question stems, problems or activities.
- Students are in groups of 2-5 students in each.
- Each group has a different colored marker.
- They go to each poster for 2-4 minutes doing the activity required.
- After they are prompted by the teacher to switch, they check the other groups response with: a check if they agree or a correction if they disagree and WHY
- They then create their own question stem, problem or activity for the upcoming group.
This activity is to be facilitated by the teacher and is for the groups collaborating as much as it is the main student who is guessing the word.
- A vocabulary word is held above a student's head where they cannot see it.
- The other students in the room collaborate to find the best clues for the vocabulary word.
- The student calls on each group to give them their best clue/clues. (make sure they are giving acacemic rich clues)
- After AT LEAST 1 clue from EACH group, the student tries to guess the word above them.
*It may be good to provide a list of academic vocabulary words from which to guess.
Frayer Model Vocabulary
- Vocabulary word goes in the center of a 2x2 grid for each group and one large one for the whole class.
- Student groups brainstorm words/phrases to place in the upper left corner of their Frayer.
- Groups discuss with the entire class, while a scribe posts the words/phrases to the class Frayer.
- Each student group uses the class words/phrases to brainstorm their BEST definition and writes it on their group Frayer.
- Each definition is written with different colored markers in the right corner of class Frayer, while corrections are made in a polite, productive manner.
- When finished, the class will have the BEST student made definition in their upper right corner.
- Students write examples and nonexamples in the bottom boxes of their group and class Frayer Models.
Student Self Monitoring
Simply copying notes from the board is a low level thinking skill, so please promote higher level thinking by providing appropriate graphic organizers, question stems or reflective prompts, which help students recognize their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses through effective critical thinking.
Journal Data Goals
Students become their own progress monitors.
- Students write down their goals for the year.
- Students write down all of their grades.
- Monitor with graphs and charts to view progress.
- The goal is not to compare to one another, but to show growth within oneself.
Huffman ISD - Curriculum
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Skill-based team building
5 critical thinking team building activities for adults [research-based]
This just in: Critical thinking is one of the top 10 job skills of the future.
While that's not entirely shocking, most leaders aren't sure how to develop critical thinking. If you're one of those people, we've compiled five activities that will sharpen your team's skills and bring them closer together.
Dive deeper: Reverse-engineering Google - Team building for high-performance teams.
How employers see critically thinking employees
Thanks to critical thinking, you can stand out during the recruitment process and excel throughout your career. But what makes a powerful workplace critical thinker?
In 2020, the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues (JESI) published a phenomenography study dedicated to an average employer's expectations from their workers .
It identified 3 most-valued "categories" of critical thinking at the workplace :
- Decisions to act here and now. Quick decision-making makes problem-solving and crisis management easier. To master this type of critical thinking, you need to take responsibility for your actions and opinions.
- Verified and assured decisions to act. Here, team players driven by the company's values stand out. Learn to manage conflicts, highlight each others' strengths, and work as a team for the good of the organization.
- Innovative decisions for operational improvement. This aspect of critical thinking encourages you to work with others and socialize, finding solutions that will improve the existing processes in your company.
As you can imagine, it's pretty difficult to come up with a training that would cover all three specifics at once. Instead, work on each of the critical thinking categories on their own.
Team Building Expert & Writer
Share fun facts and bond with a team quiz
Have your participants choose from a list of questions they’d like their coworkers to answer about them, before watching as they guess the right answer.
Run a guided recognition activity
Organize a virtual cooking class
Hire a professional chef to help your team cook a delicious lunch or dinner. May be difficult for co-workers with families. To find providers and get tips, read our blog about virtual cooking classes.
Hire a stand-up comedian
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Critical thinking team building games to practice acting here and now.
According to the JESI research, this type of critical thinking directly relates to your internal inspiration and courage. You need to believe that what you decide is right and act accordingly .
Classical team building activities like survival simulation and escape rooms are perfect for this practice.
1. Take part in survival simulation activities
Survival simulation challenges your on-the-spot decision-making. This type of exercise puts you in situations where you need to think fast as if your life depends on it.
2. Go to an escape room
Carefully scripted challenges of modern escape rooms work similarly to the survival simulations. It forces you to act here and now, knowing that your decisions will affect the rest of the team.
This kind of team building is perfect for remote teams , as you can do the most sophisticated escape rooms online !
Critical thinking team building activities for adults who want to make verified decisions
This type of employer-oriented critical thinking helps you understand professional activities better. Here, it's not just about finding the right solution. Instead, it's about discovering as many solutions as possible and justifying them .
Try team building activities dedicated to research and group problem-solving, like the timely classics: SWOT analysis or group debates.
3. Make a SWOT analysis together
SWOT analysis is a popular marketing framework for analyzing a project's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It encourages research, outside-of-the-box reasoning, and teamwork. So it also makes a fruitful critical-thinking team building experience!
4. Hold a debate
Another great way to practice making verified decisions is by holding a debate-style team building event. This way, you'll get valuable experience backing up your statements with facts. Also, you will practice public speaking and argumentation - the other two highly-valued professional skills.
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Critical thinking team building activities to promote innovation.
You can use critical thinking to drive innovation and change. Innovators feel safe sharing their ideas and are ready to become leaders . For this, focus on team building activities that promote communication , creativity, and empathy .
There are many team building activities for work that promote these behaviors. But today, we wanted to share the one that encourages innovation particularly well:
5. Create a vision board with your team
Think of a company you'd be proud to represent. Brainstorm the values it stands for. Present the opportunities it opens for the employees and the clients. Highlight the good things you already have. And think about what you could do as a team to turn it into reality.
This powerful team building exercise works on many levels:
- It allows you to appreciate the benefits you may be taking for granted ;
- It demonstrates what goals and values you share with your team ;
- It creates a sense of direction for the positive impact you could have on the company;
- It promotes creativity, critical thinking, and trust among the participants.
All these critical thinking team building activities work for remote teams as well as the on-site ones and are affordable ! All you need is a reliable virtual conference platform (like Veertly !) and some of the must-have software to make your online team building feel like a face-to-face one.
Have fun and drive the change you want to see!
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Top 8 Fun Brain Games for Adults
An essential skill any employee throughout 2022 will constantly be aiming to improve is their thinking skill. Interestingly, thinking skills may be improved through playing brain games for adults that can help develop, train and enhance the skill.
To be more specific, thinking skills encompass the wide range of creative thinking, critical thinking , analytical thinking and strategic thinking skills that work together to allow employees at work to best formulate solutions to problems and issues faced within the business.
In 2022 it was noted that recruiters will be found to look for individuals with strong thinking skills that can handle a combination of unforeseen circumstances; likewise, critical thinking in the coming years will be a key priority to handling future difficult situations.
In this blog, we discuss the best quick brain games for adults that help with problem solving you can easily access and play to effectively work on improving your thinking skills for work.
Chess is an extremely games to improve logical reasoning that will allow you to improve your thinking skills for work. Specifically, chess is a game whereby two players will utilise special pieces on a board with specific movements to strategically defeat each other. Chess stimulates your brain to think outside the box. This is done whereby you have to make extremely strategic problem-solving choices on what you should do in an ever-changing scenario.
Chess works to enhance thinking skills through effective memorisation of moves and recalling what tools you have learned to help you pull out strategies that could be utilised in previously played situations. Chess further encourages and actively challenges the right side of the brain which is responsible for promoting creativity which is important for all to be continually utilising.
Price: FREE – Download the Chess.com app for mobile or play on your computer!
Among Us is an extremely unique yet strong reasoning games for adults. Among Us is a strategic thinking game that is commonly played with a group of around six to ten people. Within the game there are assigned roles of crewmates and imposters. Imposters are given the role of eliminating crewmates, this is done through strategically eliminating a crewmate whilst avoiding being caught and seen by other crewmates. Imposters will win by eliminating all crewmates before crewmate tasks are completed otherwise, they automatically will lose.
On the other hand, crewmates work together, completing tasks and further solving who the unknown imposters are by observing movements, patterns, and catching the imposter for failed hidden eliminations. Crewmates win by eliminating all imposters or completing tasks within the game. When a crewmate finds another eliminated crewmate, they can call a discussion in which all players try to figure out who the imposter is. In short, Among Us causes individuals to use extreme strategic thinking in order to effectively persuade other individuals whilst either figure out who the imposters are or eliminating all crewmates secretly.
Price: FREE (Free only on Mobile) – Download the Among Us app for mobile!
Lumosity is a great game that aims to effectively sharpen and improve a wide variety of thinking skills. Known as the number one brain training app, Lumosity is designed to increase memory, focus and a variety of brain functionalities through daily game exercises. Specifically, Lumosity has been programmed to adapt to your own unique strengths and weaknesses, tailoring recommendations to improve your skills based on your own brain level requirements.
Within Lumosity consists a group of tailored mini games to sharpen the skills you use every day, which will include memory and concentration, attention, flexibility, processing speed and problem-solving skills. Moreover, this aligns with the improvement of a variety of thinking skills as the minigames aim to enrich your mind with content to assure you are able to strengthen and train a variety of thinking skills important to you.
Price: FREE – Download the Lumosity app for mobile!
CogniFit brain fitness is one of the best critical thinking games that can effectively help you improve and develop your thinking skills. Similar to Lumosity, CogniFit offers a wide variety of games and activities that help to strengthen and build your thinking skills through personalised daily training. Moreover, CogniFit has been known as one of the leading interactive mental game apps that can increase cognitive functionality dramatically.
CogniFit has been designed to ensure that even with just a few games and activities in a matter of minutes a day, you can track your progress and be assured that your desired cognitive skills, thinking skills and brain activity will improve dramatically. Moreover, within CogniFit you may set personal goals and track these goals, aiming to push you to effectively develop your skills through brain training programs aimed to encourage you to achieve the results you want.
Price: FREE – Download the CogniFit app for mobile!
2048 is a classic and amazing game to effectively increase your thinking skills for work. 2048 is a single-player puzzle game that involves the player sliding tiles to generate larger numbers. Starting at two tiles players will continue to combine numbers (for example 2 + 2 = 4) Until they effectively create the tile 2048. The player will lose the game when all the tiles have filled the grid and the player can no longer make a combination through movement.
2048 significantly encourages players to utilise strategic thinking skills to identify the best way in which they should move a tile to encourage long term success in generating the number 2048. To make the game even more intense and continue to enhance your thinking skills, consider setting a time limit to attaining 2048 and slowly improve your time more and more.
Price: FREE – Download the 2048 app for mobile or play on your computer!
Limbo is a beautifully crafted puzzle game that can effectively help you enhance your thinking skills. Limbo isn’t a game for the faint hearted although it is amazing in giving players a wide variety of strategic thinking opportunities through the puzzles built inside of the game. Limbo is a game where you play as an unnamed boy who travels his way through unique puzzles in a dangerous environment in search of his sister.
The game is built around trial and error, effectively learning from past mistakes, thinking of improvements and finding a variety of ways in which the player can progress. The game is presented in an eerie atmosphere closely feeling like a horror game, although not overly frightening. If you enjoy playing games that are well built and help to encourage strategic thinking skills, consider giving Limbo a turn.
Price: $5.99 (On mobile) – Download the Limbo app on mobile or play on all other gaming platforms!
Picnic Penguin is a great game to effectively help improve your thinking skills. Picnic Penguin involves players guiding a penguin across a stage who has the goal of pushing treats onto a picnic blanket. Although the level involves strategic thinking in which you must solve how to get the treats onto the blanket without being beaten by monsters or trapping your snack into a corner unable to move which means a reset onto the level.
Picnic Penguin is an extremely enjoyable game to play in your spare time to effectively enhance your thinking skills. Moreover, throughout the different levels you will find new mechanics that will mean a new thinking pattern should be utilised throughout the level. Further, to get the most use out of the game consider trying to complete levels in the shortest number of moves.
Price: FREE – Download the Picnic Penguin app for mobile!
Superliminal is a well-developed game that can effectively enhance your thinking skills. The game involves a player completing a storyline whereby they undergo a variety of puzzles that are completed in a first-person perspective, with the incorporation of unique gameplay elements. This notably includes the usage of optical illusions that can change in different perspectives to enable players to solve puzzles to complete the game.
Superliminal is extremely unique although this is the only game on the list that isn’t available on mobile. The game is available to play on your Computer, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch. So, if you are hoping to give this game a go, you will need to play this with some free time at home on any of the mentioned platforms.
Price: $28.95 (On Computer – Steam) – Play Superliminal on your Computer, PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch
5 Team Building Games For Adults That Teach Critical Thinking Skills
Team building games are not only fun; they break the monotony of daily routines and help us to develop valuable skills. Some games help us to acquire critical thinking skills, which make us productive and increase our output in the workplace. Corporate training through critical thinking games is beneficial for both small and established organizations because it fosters trust and problem-solving skills among the employees. Brain training activities are quite common; however, critical thinking games are much better if you want to teach skills faster.
So keep reading on and learn if you want to learn a 5 new games for boosting critical thinking in your team.
Why Team Building Activities are Important
The leading organizations know the importance of corporate training. A business can either succeed or fail, depending on the ability of its employees. Regular training inculcates relevant skills and knowledge to the workers who in turn use it to boost production.
Team building activities improve work relations, therefore creating a conducive working environment. Working together to solve different problems shows the employees that they need each other to reach their organization’s goals. This knowledge is applied in the office as each one understands how to work with different individuals and talents.
Team building activities also allow employees to socialize, network, and get to know each other. Making friends in the workplace is the first step to increasing productivity. Employees can work together to solve problems. This is the moment when critical thinking games step in: a common goal to achieve in a playful format brings out each team members’ stregths.
When employees work together in team building games, they celebrate and have fun together, which inspires them to work harder and win more. Cheering and supporting each other in these activities promotes team bonding and motivates them to rise to the next level. Working together also promotes creativity and innovation. This is why critical thinking activities for employees need to be planned ahead and implemented withing your company.
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Teaching critical thinking through team building games for adults
The good thing about corporate training and team building games is that they equip you with knowledge in and out of office. The following team building games will teach you critical thinking skills while having fun:
1. If You Build It
This critical thinking game for adults is not only simple, but it’s also flexible – this means that anybody can participate. The game starts when the teams are divided into small groups, given equal amounts of different materials, such as building blocks, pipes, or even marshmallows. The teams are assigned a task that involves construction. This can either be to build the tallest structure, for instance, a castle. The groups should work together until they come up with the required structure. This game inculcates problem-solving and communication skills.
Zoom is an exciting game that can be used both in the classroom and to foster cooperation in the workplace. The team sits or stands in a circle, and each is given a unique picture of an animal, object, or other items. To make it more exciting, the instructor starts a unique story then the next member continues the story following the picture provided. This team building game inculcates creative collaboration skills for adults and children alike. You can get more critical thinking and other games for Zoom here.
3. Shrinking Vessel
Critical thinking can be difficult to master with brain training; however, with fun team building games such as shrinking vessel, it becomes effortless. The activity starts with dividing members into small teams. Each group has to work together to fit into a shrinking space until; there is no room in between. The boundary can be made of cones or a rope. This game equips you with teamwork and problem-solving skills .
4. It’s a Mystery
Many people love a good mystery, and this can be exciting when people work in groups. In this critical thinking game for adults, each team member is given a numbered clue. In order to solve this mystery, for instance, if you are told to find the missing eggs, teams must work together following the clues in order. Solving this case might require the groups to move around to uncover more clues to solve the mystery. This game is important because it teaches you problem-solving and communication.
5. The Worst-Case Scenario
The objective of this activity is to foster teamwork. In this case, every team has to collaborate to come up with a list of must-have items in extreme circumstances. The members are divided into smaller groups; then the instructor explains an example of the worst scenario. For instance, one group could have a scenario where they are stuck in a burning house or a hijacked plane. Each group has to decide on 5 or 10 must-have items to get them to safety. The decision to choose the items must be unanimous. Among critical thinking games this activity draws out everyone’s personalities, expert knowledge and helps to prioritize.
Some managers don’t give them the attention they deserve, choosing to concentrate only on work itself, however, team building activities are important because they break the monotony and equip employees with relevant skills. Especially in the form of critical thinking games for adults, which are created with the purpose of training participants into making better decisions. These activities are beneficial to both the workers and the organization, and this boosts the output and productivity.
Waiting game for virtual meetings is a bonus in our list of games for critical thinking. This game needs input from people with different skills and knowledge base. Common goal to clean the gameboard and reveal hidden picture gets everyone talking. Logical puzzles promote discussion and breaks silence!
We hope you enjoyed this list of critical thinking team building activities and manage to implement some of them in your organization!
Authors Bio Hazel is an entrepreneur at heart and has built a regionally recognized and successful multi-million dollar businesses – Biz Group , starting the company in 1993 with just $700. The group now employs 62 professionals and provides services in the fields of design and delivery of corporate training, teambuilding, meeting facilitation and organizational health through culture and engagement.
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More From Forbes
13 Easy Steps To Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills
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With the sheer volume of information that we’re bombarded with on a daily basis – and with the pervasiveness of fake news and social media bubbles – the ability to look at evidence, evaluate the trustworthiness of a source, and think critically is becoming more important than ever. This is why, for me, critical thinking is one of the most vital skills to cultivate for future success.
Critical thinking isn’t about being constantly negative or critical of everything. It’s about objectivity and having an open, inquisitive mind. To think critically is to analyze issues based on hard evidence (as opposed to personal opinions, biases, etc.) in order to build a thorough understanding of what’s really going on. And from this place of thorough understanding, you can make better decisions and solve problems more effectively.
To put it another way, critical thinking means arriving at your own carefully considered conclusions instead of taking information at face value. Here are 13 ways you can cultivate this precious skill:
1. Always vet new information with a cautious eye. Whether it’s an article someone has shared online or data that’s related to your job, always vet the information you're presented with. Good questions to ask here include, "Is this information complete and up to date?” “What evidence is being presented to support the argument?” and “Whose voice is missing here?”
2. Look at where the information has come from. Is the source trustworthy? What is their motivation for presenting this information? For example, are they trying to sell you something or get you to take a certain action (like vote for them)?
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3. Consider more than one point of view. Everyone has their own opinions and motivations – even highly intelligent people making reasonable-sounding arguments have personal opinions and biases that shape their thinking. So, when someone presents you with information, consider whether there are other sides to the story.
4. Practice active listening. Listen carefully to what others are telling you, and try to build a clear picture of their perspective. Empathy is a really useful skill here since putting yourself in another person's shoes can help you understand where they're coming from and what they might want. Try to listen without judgment – remember, critical thinking is about keeping an open mind.
5. Gather additional information where needed. Whenever you identify gaps in the information or data, do your own research to fill those gaps. The next few steps will help you do this objectively…
6. Ask lots of open-ended questions. Curiosity is a key trait of critical thinkers, so channel your inner child and ask lots of "who," "what," and "why" questions.
7. Find your own reputable sources of information, such as established news sites, nonprofit organizations, and education institutes. Try to avoid anonymous sources or sources with an ax to grind or a product to sell. Also, be sure to check when the information was published. An older source may be unintentionally offering up wrong information just because events have moved on since it was published; corroborate the info with a more recent source.
8. Try not to get your news from social media. And if you do see something on social media that grabs your interest, check the accuracy of the story (via reputable sources of information, as above) before you share it.
9. Learn to spot fake news. It's not always easy to spot false or misleading content, but a good rule of thumb is to look at the language, emotion, and tone of the piece. Is it using emotionally charged language, for instance, and trying to get you to feel a certain way? Also, look at the sources of facts, figures, images, and quotes. A legit news story will clearly state its sources.
10. Learn to spot biased information. Like fake news, biased information may seek to appeal more to your emotions than logic and/or present a limited view of the topic. So ask yourself, “Is there more to this topic than what’s being presented here?” Do your own reading around the topic to establish the full picture.
11. Question your own biases, too. Everyone has biases, and there’s no point pretending otherwise. The trick is to think objectively about your likes and dislikes, preferences, and beliefs, and consider how these might affect your thinking.
12. Form your own opinions. Remember, critical thinking is about thinking independently. So once you’ve assessed all the information, form your own conclusions about it.
13. Continue to work on your critical thinking skills. I recommend looking at online learning platforms such as Udemy and Coursera for courses on general critical thinking skills, as well as courses on specific subjects like cognitive biases.
Read more about critical thinking and other essential skills in my new book, Future Skills: The 20 Skills & Competencies Everyone Needs To Succeed In A Digital World . Written for anyone who wants to surf the wave of digital transformation – rather than be drowned by it – the book explores why these vital future skills matter and how to develop them.
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Task interdependence sets rules and guidelines for the sharing of expertise, materials and information between members of an organization working on interdependent tasks.
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5 critical thinking team building activities for adults [research-based] · How employers see critically thinking employees · Share fun facts and bond with a team
The Best Brain Games for Adults to Improve Your Thinking Skills for Work in 2021: 1. Chess 2. Among Us 3. Lumosity 4. CogniFit 5. 2048 6.
1. If You Build It. This critical thinking game for adults is not only simple, but it's also flexible – this means that anybody can participate.
It's about objectivity and having an open, inquisitive mind. To think critically is to analyze issues based on hard evidence (as opposed to