Visual Thinking Unit 1

Unit 1: The Language of Thinking

In these two lessons, you will analyze questions used by educators to determine whether or not it promotes thinking for students.

Objective: Given an article and a PowerPoint presentation, you will evaluate 3 to 5 questions or phrases to determine whether or not they promote thinking through a sorting activity.

Lesson 1: What do you mean by “language of thinking?”

One way to make thinking visual for students is to use the language regularly. Vocabulary from Bloom’s Taxonomy is a great way to help students understand questions and form appropriate answers. The way that you form your questions can promote deeper thinking. This lesson will show you how to use more thoughtful language in your questioning. In order for these higher-order thinking questions to be effective, you must give students information about what the verbs in Bloom’s Taxonomy mean. These terms should become a regular part of the language in the classroom.

For example:

“Today we are going to read a story and discuss the main character.” This sentence does not promote deeper thinking because it is not using language that challenges students. Here is the same objective restated, “Today we are going to analyze the main character to determine a trait we can use to best describe him.” This statement uses language to promote thinking because it tells students they are going to analyze and determine. These terms should be defined for the students and referred to regularly in order for them to fully understand what they mean. Encourage students to use these words in their own discussions, too!

Directions: Read the following article. As you are reading, make a list of questions, phrases, or actions that promote or model thinking.

Article: Pay special attention to the section “Teacher Change”

Lesson 2: The Right Kind of Language (Assessment)

View the PowerPoint presentation in the link below. As you are reading, make a list of questions, phrases, or actions that promote or model thinking and a list of any terms, phrases, or actions that do not promote or model thinking. Pay close attention to any connections between this presentation and the article you read in lesson 1. Post your findings in the class Edmodo group assignment titled Unit 1 Lesson 2 Assessment.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Link to Edmodo

Click to continue to Visual Thinking Unit 2

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