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Saturday, November 2, 2013

7 Free Activities that Develop Abstract Thinking and Critical Reasoning

In middle school, there is often a shift from concrete to abstract ways of thinking.  This new expectation of higher order language skills and conceptual reasoning can be challenging for many students.  Consequently, many young learners need to practice this skill and strengthen this cognitive processing area.  You can help by doing some simple activities.

7 Activities You Can Do at Home
  • Watch commercials on television or look at advertisements in magazines and discuss the hidden messages or inferences.
  • Model abstract thinking by thinking aloud.
  • Ask your children to help plan an event or activity.  Also have them help you plan meals and create a grocery list.
  • Create sorting and organizational activities.  Ask your children how they would like to organize their clothing, toys and school materials. Then help them purchase the needed the products (such as cubbies, clear bins, shelving, binders) and make it happen.
  • Play the following Main Idea and Detail Game.  Think of a main idea such as transportation.  Communicate details - one at a time - such as car, plane, rollerblades… and see who can come up with the main idea first. 
  • Have fun trying to solve riddles.  Here is a site you can try: http://www.rinkworks.com/brainfood/p/riddles1.shtml
  • Look at jokes on the internet and discuss what makes them funny.  Check out this site: http://www.squiglysplayhouse.com/JokesAndRiddles/Jokes.html   Jokes often use words that have double meanings.  Make a list of words that have double meanings and see if you can create your own joke book.
Free Sample Activities
If you would rather use a workbook that strengthens these skills, come get free sample pages and activities from the workbook:  Abstracting Thinking and Multiple Meanings: Developing Higher Order Language and Mental Flexibility Through Critical Thinking and Visualization.  Go to the middle of the page for a direct download:  

Cheers, Erica

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