ERIC Number: ED364882
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Writing for Critical Thinking: Problem Solving and Information Transfer.
Storla, Steven R.
Two critical thinking activities (information transfer and problem solving) have been used effectively in the writing classroom with level 4 students in a four-level intensive English program. In the information transfer activity, students move from graphic stimuli to written texts. Student writers practice critical thinking by discussing data, reformulating it, and adding their own analysis. Advantages of this activity are that the material is visual, that it is open-ended, and that students get to work on explaining trends and fluctuations over time. The topic of instruction is first discussed in small groups, and then followed-up with whole class discussion, exploration of rhetorical options, and completion of a writing assignment. The second activity, problem solving, involves stories that reflect students' concerns, where some action to improve the situation is possible, but also one where there is some ambiguity. Topics for this activity can be generated by listening in class for themes that come up frequently, and by noting the challenges and difficulties students write about in their journals. Advantages of this activity include: experiencing connections of empathy; finding a balance; thinking logically; and arguing persuasively. The instructional sequence involves: introducing the topic; reading the story; exploring the story using a five-step questioning strategy; interviewing each other; discussing possible solutions; and writing an essay. (Eleven attachments provide graphs, topics, discussion questions, and activity sheets.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Thinking Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (27th, Atlanta, GA, April 13-17, 1993).