An EASY Critical Thinking Game for K/1 Kids!

An EASY Critical Thinking Game for K-1 Kids! from HeidiSongs
 

Today I’m going to tell you about a fun and EASY game to help boost critical thinking skills in Kindergarten or First Graders!  I call it The Critical Thinking Comparison Game, because in it, the kids are simply comparing one thing to another and telling what they think are the similarities and differences between two objects.  Believe it or not, my first graders LOVE this game and often ask me if we can play it again!  I think they like it because the game makes them feel successful and “smart.”  I have also played it with Kindergartners, and they enjoyed it, too!

Whole Group Teaching
 

The Critical Thinking Comparison Game is really very easy to play!  All you need is a few questions like the ones below, and something for the children to color, just to keep them busy while they wait for a turn to talk.  (I also used my Critical Thinking Comparison Cards as a visual aid, but you can certainly play it without them!) Here is the type of question that I ask in this game:

How Are These Things Alike?

  • A house is like a nest because…
  • Ice cubes and snow are alike because…
  • Pencils are like paint brushes because…
  • Rings and fingernails are alike because…
  • Birds and people are like because…
  • A kitchen sink and a swimming pool are alike because…
  •  A seal is like an otter because…
  •  Marbles are like baseballs because…
  •  Glue and honey are alike because…
  •  A bathtub and cooking pot are alike because…

How Are These Things Different?

  • A woman and a girl are not alike because…
  • A soda and water are not alike because…
  • A book is not like a movie because…
  • Trees are not like towers because…
  • Houses are not like tents because…
  • Spaghetti and worms are not alike because…
  • Legos are not like blocks because…
  • TV programs and video games are not alike because
  • A pirate is not like a sailor because…
  • A lion is not like a kitty cat because…

Basically, all you need to do is get the kids thinking and talking as much as you can.  This is GREAT for developing language and reasoning skills in young children!  The hardest part for the children is waiting for their turn to speak, and understanding that there are no wrong answers!  Of course, some of their answers will be closer to “the standard answer” than others.  🙂

 

My first grade students gave answers that were MUCH closer to the expected, standard answer than most of the kindergartners ever did when we did this activity!  What a HUGE difference a year makes!  As many of you know, I am teaching a first and second grade combination class this year.  But I did not play this with my second graders; they were out of the room at the time, and it seemed a bit too easy for them.

The first time I played this game, I did it with Kindergartners, and it was TERRIBLY hard for them to wait for a turn to speak!  We had to stop before all of them had a chance.  So we tried it another day, and I gave them some of my Hidden CVC Word Worksheets to color in while they waited their turn to speak (see below). We did the activity in our language arts groups, with the children coloring while they waited for their turn to speak.  This worked out quite well!

We have Hidden CVC Words for our CVC Books Volume 1 and 2!
We have Hidden CVC Words for our CVC Books Volume 1 and 2!
 

Once I realized how much better it was to have their hands busy (duh!) I decided that it would be even BETTER if they were actually coloring something RELATED to what we were talking about.  (Double duh!)  So I set about creating something I decided to call Critical Thinking Comparison Cards!  They have the question on the card, and a picture of the two items that are being compared.

 

So a few weeks ago, I tried them out with my first graders.  First, I introduced the concept of comparing two things that are loosely related.  Then I passed out a few different copies of the cards for the kids to color.  Then I walked around the room, and basically chatted with the children as they colored.  I did this with all of my first graders at the same time, so it was half of the class.

Critical Thinking Comparison Cards!
 

It was SO EASY, and the kids LOVED it!  They have asked me to do it again now a few more times!  I will have to copy off a few more for them and have them on hand for when we have a few more extra minutes.  I really think that the first graders liked it because they understood it and felt successful!  It was like a riddle that they could actually solve.

Critical Thinking Comparison Cards!
 

On the other hand, the kindergartners seemed to like it because I gave them a chance to just TALK.  As we sat, chatted and reasoned together, they seemed to just enjoy the conversation- and especially the ATTENTION!  It was fun and relaxing.

Critical Thinking Comparison Cards!
 

I hope you’ll give this a try!  It’s lots of fun!  And if you haven’t tried out these Critical Thinking Question Cards for Young Children, I really recommend checking them out!

Critical Thinking CARDS
 

They are a great way to help you think of higher level thinking questions to go with just about any text!


I hope this post was informative! Again, here is a link to purchase my Critical Thinking Comparison Cards, and HERE IS A FREE, DOWNLOADABLE SAMPLE! 😀 Enjoy!

-Heidi
————

Follow me!   Did you enjoy this post? Do me a favor and share it with your friends!  And follow this blog by signing up email updates, or follow on Bloglovin’, or follow me on TPT!
I’m also on PinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+ and YouTube, too!  Don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter (on the left sidebar) for special deals and promo codes that you won’t find out about anywhere else.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Heidi Butkus

About Heidi Butkus

Heidi Butkus has been teaching in California public schools since 1985. She has somehow managed to stay in Kindergarten all of those years, with the exception of five years in first grade, and also taught a parent participation preschool for a short while! Combining a strong knowledge of brain research with practical experience, Heidi has created a wealth of fun and engaging teaching techniques that work well with diverse populations. She has presented at conferences nationwide, and is the owner and founder of HeidiSongs.com. Heidi has also created fourteen original CD's and DVD's for teaching beginning reading and math skills, three musical plays designed especially for young performers, and has written some picture books and many other teaching resources. Heidi's multimedia workshops are filled with fun and motivational educational activities that have been classroom tested and revised for effectiveness with all types of learners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *