Teaching Students to Think

Dec 27, 2022 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

If you missed the gifts given for Day 2, you can still access these resources:


On the second day of IEW’s Twelve Days of Christmas Giving, the gifts dug deeply into the less obvious and less measurable material that makes up the elements of the arts of language–thinking!

Can you learn to think? Is it a skill that can be improved? Somehow, I’ve come to believe that people are either thinkers or feelers. Right? Wrong! When I first listened to “Thinking – The Quintessence of the Four Language Arts” (Podcast 207), I was so encouraged to hear that I could learn and practice the skill of thinking! It is not a tangible subject on which you receive a grade. Instead, it grows organically as you work through the other more measurable elements of language arts: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

As Andrew Pudewa mentions in his presentation Fairy Tales and the Moral Imagination, when people practice this skill of thinking, they are then able to think about what is right and wrong as well as what should and shouldn’t be. He provides clarity about the role fairy tales play to enable listeners to practice thinking, such as considering the following questions: Is there truth in fairy tales? Are humans inherently aware of what is evil? What is being cultivated?

Have you noticed when you ask yourself questions that it prompts an internal response? Asking questions provides a conduit for thinking. As described in the Seminar Workbook that accompanies Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, Unit 5: Writing from Pictures “teaches students to pull information from their minds using pictures as a source for inspiration. Students learn to ask the right questions and then provide their own answers” (p. 65). The gifts on the second day of Christmas include a lesson from Structure and Style for Students: Year 1 Level B with Andrew Pudewa teaching the skill of asking questions, using Unit 5: Writing from Pictures and a PDF download of three sets of Unit 5 pictures.

When you teach your students this structure, you are equipping them with valuable thinking skills that will serve them well their entire lives.

Today’s post is written by Allyson Heins, IEW Online Instructor, Customer Service Consultant, and Information Technology Assistant.



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