Using Picture Books To Teach Critical Thinking

2 min readJan 8, 2021

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For a ‘Critical Thinking and Book Talk’ session in a classroom. read a picturebook aloud with participants seated in a semicircle initially. ensuring that all can see the images clearly. Visual literacy — decoding images — is as important as decoding text.

The reading. writing. and talking is often much easier to generate with picture books FIRST before you head into texts with more complex structures. However. make no mistake about it — the critical thinking is still critical thinking. Higher level discussions come from really good questions. so don’t forget to plan ahead!

In this episode. we spoke to Mary Roche. who makes the case for using children’s picture books to teach critical thinking skills to younger learners. Mary is a highly experienced primary school teacher and renowned author of the award winning book: Developing Children’s Critical Thinking through Picturebooks (2015).

When I was teaching college students I was often surprised at how little they knew about the process of thinking. There was a lack of self-awareness when it came to one’s thoughts. how the brain works. how to learn. and how to study. I was lucky to be at a college where the psychology major was designed around teaching critical thinking.

Teaching critical thinking skills to language impaired students is no easy feat especially considering the “seriousness” of the subject matter. One fun way I like to address critical thinking skills is through picture books utilizing the framework outlined in Bloom’s Taxonomy: Cognitive Domain which encompasses the following . . .

Alexis Birner (M. Ed) and Lindsay Bromley (M. Ed) present their Masters of Education graduate paper. about Critical Literacy: Using Picture Books to Read The W. . .

Inspired by the work of Mary Roche. we use picture books to introduce the children to careful and close readings of stories. taking account of both text and images and how these work together.

Using picture books to teach critical thinking in early years classrooms explains the importance of teaching children to think critically and suggests simple ways of incorporating it into your program.

This varied and purposely broad collection includes resources for teaching critical thinking. from books and videos to graphics and models. rubrics. and taxonomies to presentations and debate communities. Take a look. and let us know in the comments which you found the most–or least–useful. See also 10 Team-Building Games That Promote Critical Thinking. 25 Of The Best …




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