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Worksheet library: critical thinking: grades 3-5.

5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

Visit Education World's Worksheet Library for a wide variety of free printables for use across the curriculum and across the grades.

Quotes Solve the math problems to get the letters to a quote. (Grades 3-5)

Jokes Solve the math problems to get the letters to a joke. (Grades 3-5)

The Old House Use math to figure out how to fix the old house. (Grades 3-5)

Balance Algebra Use Algebra to balance the scales. (Grades 3-5)

Balance Benders Given some facts, which objects weight will even off the scales? (Grades 3-5)

Paper Folding Draw how a folded sheet of paper with holes punched in it will look when unfolded. (Grades 3-5)

Analogies With Shapes Which shape completes the analogy? (Grades 3-5)

Penguin Color the thermometer to show the freezing point, then complete the picture of the pengin. (Grades 3-5)

Name That City Read the story. Then make an inference based on the evidence in the story. (Grades 3-5)

Von Bayers Girlfriend Read the true story. Then make an inference based on the evidence in the story. (Grades 3-5)

Whale of a Good Time Read the story. Then make an inference based on the evidence in the story. (Grades 3-5)

Rhyme and Reason Can you figure out the subjects of these simple rhymes? (Grades 3-5)

Rhyme and Reason (#2) Can you figure out the subjects of these simple rhymes? (Grades 3-5)

Rhyme and Reason (#3) Can you figure out the subjects of these simple rhymes? (Grades 3-5)

Rhyme and Reason (#4) Can you figure out the subjects of these simple rhymes? (Grades 3-5)

Rhyme and Reason (#5) Can you figure out the subjects of these simple rhymes? (Grades 3-5)

Rhyme and Reason (#6) Can you figure out the subjects of these simple rhymes? (Grades 3-5)

Antarctica Find 8 errors in this brief article about Antarctica. (Grades 3-5)

The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster Find 7 errors in this brief article about the Loch Ness monster. (Grades 3-5)

Big Sky Country A friendly letter about Montana helps reinforce letter-writing skills. (Grades 3-5)

Common Nouns Find and write six common nouns found in each picture. (Grades 3-5)

Math Analogies Can you correctly complete each of these math analogies? (Grades 3-5)

Math Analogies (#2) Can you correctly complete each of these math analogies? (Grades 3-5)

The Best Pancake Recipe Find the math answers in this story about Olgas sleepover party. (Grades 3-5)

The Color Spinner Who is most likely to win the Color Spinner game? (Grades 3-5)

Leafy Lengths Complete the graph to show the length of the leaves that Luis and Amy found. (Grades 3-5)

Allowance Graph Answer questions about a graph that show how much allowance five kids get. (Grades 3-5)

Line of Symmetry Which of the six shapes shown on this page are symmetrical? (Grades 3-5)

Find the Nickname These clues will help you figure out each kids nickname. (Grades 3-5)

Order of Age Use the clues to order three kids ages from youngest to oldest. (Grades 3-5)

Lots of Rocks Use the clues to figure out the locations of three rocks. (Grades 3-5)

Theyre in the Band Use the clues to figure out which instrument each kid plays. (Grades 3-5)

Novel Thinking Read the definition. Write the vocabulary word and its part of speech. (Grades 3-5)

Maniac Magee Answer questions with evidence in this excerpt from Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. (Grades 3-5)

The Moon by Night Answer questions with evidence in this excerpt from The Moon by Night by Madeleine LEngle. (Grades 3-5)

Sideways Stories from Wayside School Answer questions about this excerpt from Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar. (Grades 3-5)

Pass the Salt Use evidence from this story to answer the questions about it. (Grades 3-5)

Science Detective: Cells Read the article. Then answer the True/False questions about it. (Grades 4-8)

Science Detective: Change of Phase Use evidence from this article about friction and states of matter to answer the questions. (Grades 4-7)

Scratch Your Brain Use addition and subtraction to figure out solutions to these brain benders. (Grades 3-5)

From One Word to the Next Change a letter in the previous word to make the word that completes each phrase. (Grades 3-5)

Root Words Complete this activity about words that have /capt/ or /tact/ as a root. (Grades 3-5)

Spelling Challenge Circle the word in each group that is correctly spelled. Yes, you can use your dictionary. (Grades 5-8)

Prefixes and Roots Complete this activity about words that have /phone/ as their root. (Grades 3-5)

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5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

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5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

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5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

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20 Critical Thinking Activities For Elementary Classrooms: Navigating Fact And Fiction (+Resources)

December 1, 2023 //  by  Seda Unlucay

With the barrage of mainstream news, advertising, and social media content out there, it’s vital for students to think independently and learn to differentiate between fact and fiction.

This series of critical thinking activities, STEM-based design challenges, engaging Math puzzles, and problem-solving tasks will support students in thinking rationally and understanding the logical connection between concepts.

1. Teach Students How to Obtain Verifiable News 

There’s probably no 21st-century skill more important than differentiating between real and fake sources of news. This editable PowerPoint bundle covers traditional media, social networks, and various target audiences and teaches students how to find verifiable facts.

Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers

2. Watch and Discuss a Critical Reasoning Video

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This kid-friendly video teaches students to break arguments down into claims, evidence, and reasoning. Armed with this lifelong learning tool, they will be able to make more informed decisions when consuming all types of information.

Learn More: Brain Pop

3. Complete a Critical Design Challenge

This science and designed-based classroom activity challenges students to find ways to prevent a falling egg from breaking. Pairing it with the classic Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme is sure to inspire many creative ideas.

Learn More:  Education

4. Critical Community Engagement Activity 

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This community engagement activity requires analytical skills to determine what items can be recycled in the classroom and in their neighborhood. By creating recycling bins from reusable cardboard boxes, students have an opportunity to contribute to the environmental well-being of their community while practicing social responsibility.

Learn More: Kaboom

5. Develop Logical Skills with a Then and Now Activity

We may no longer use candles for reading or quill pens for writing, but can your students identify the objects that have replaced them? This activity engages their writing, drawing, and logical skills while giving them a chance to reflect on all the changes in our modern world.

Learn More: Education

6. Play a Critical Thinking Game

This active learning activity requires students to use their critical thinking skills to make comparisons and create meaningful analogies. The fun animal safari theme is sure to inspire many funny and creative ideas!

7. Develop Social-Emotional Problem-Solving Skills 

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Through this lesson, students will understand that while conflicts are a normal part of life, it’s vital to have problem-solving skills to resolve them. This is also an excellent opportunity for developing their social awareness and relationship skills.

Learn More: ED Foundations

8. Desert Island Survival Game 

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This classic game is sure to inspire student engagement, as they use their critical thinking skills to survive being stranded on a desert island. Students have to watch out for ideological assumptions and question ideas in order to determine the appropriate items to bring.

9. Play a Problem-Solving Treasure Hunt Game 

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This exciting game for kids requires them to use key math skills to break a series of codes. With ample time, designated progress monitors, and sharp critical thinking skills, students are sure to find the hidden treasure.

Learn More: Twinkl

10. Use Writing to Increase Critical Empathy

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This activity builds writing fluency while giving students a chance to show appreciation for each other. As they reflect emphatically on their classmates’ contributions and character, their base level of kindness and sense of ethical responsibility is bound to increase.

Learn More: Edutopia

11. Learn How to Make Logical Inferences

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This activity for kids teaches the critical academic skill of making inferences from a series of texts. Students will surely enjoy playing the role of detective in order to draw their own logical conclusions.

Learn More:  Study

12. Think Critically About Cultural Assumptions 

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This engaging activity for students challenges them to think critically about why people from a variety of cultures decorate their bodies. It helps them to break through cultural assumptions while comparing and contrasting the different forms of hand and body painting around the world.

Learn More:  Harmony

13. Big Paper Silent Reflection Activity 

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After posing some open-ended questions, students silently write their responses with colored markers on large chart paper. After each group has circulated around the room, students can share their critical reflections and learn from the various perspectives of their classmates.

Learn More:  Slideshare

14. Watch a TED Video About the Socratic Method

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Socrates is one of the forefathers of critical thinking, who focused on making his students thinking visible by questioning their logic and reasoning. The accompanying quiz and discussion questions are an excellent way to reinforce student learning.

Learn More:  Ted Ed

15. Brainstorm Ways to Help a Homeless Person

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This lesson in civic responsibility teaches students about the causes of homelessness and guides them to find ways to help the homeless in their communities. It develops key problem-solving skills while building critical empathy.

Learn More:  National Homeless.org

16. Guess the Object Game

This video features a series of twenty zoomed-in mystery objects. Students will love using their critical thinking skills to guess each one!

Learn More:  Andy – The ESL Guy

17. Solve Some Challenging Math Brain Teasers

This abundant series of brain teasers is the perfect choice if you’re looking to test your children’s memory and problem-solving skills. Encourage them to use their knowledge of numbers to complete these tricky math problems that are not only designed to challenge your little brainiacs but are also compiled in an easy-to-use format.

Learn More: Mental Up

18. Complete a STEM Elevator Challenge

In this design and engineering-based lesson, students have to build a functional elevator that can carry an object to the top of a structure. It’s a terrific way to encourage cooperative learning while sharpening their problem-solving skills.

Learn More:  Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers

19. Create the Perfect Farm 

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There’s no better way to develop critical thinking skills than by solving real-world problems. This video encourages students to think about ways to feed a growing global population in an environmentally sustainable way.

20. Solve Logic Grid Puzzles

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These logic grid puzzles will motivate students to use logical reasoning skills and the process of elimination to solve a series of clues. But be warned, they are highly addictive and difficult to put down once you get started!

Learn More:  Puzzle Baron’s Logic Puzzles

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Critical Thinking Worksheets

  • Brain Teasers - A great way to stimulate thinking. Don't worry, they come complete with answer keys.
  • Compare and Contrast - Students examine differences and similarities in a variety situations.
  • Dictionary Practice Worksheets - Practice your dictionary skills.
  • Fact And Opinion - Students determine the validity of a body of work.
  • How Many Are There? - Fun activities for examining patterns.
  • Internet Search Worksheets - Fun Internet searches for students.
  • Logic Puzzle - Each scenario is thought provoking. Lots of brain power needed here.
  • Making Predictions - A good warm-up for inferences.
  • Mazes - Your run-of-the-mill start and finish mazes.
  • Name People That ...- Good creative thinking exercises.
  • Name Places That ...- Good creative thinking exercises.
  • Name Things That ...- Good creative thinking exercises.
  • Secret Code - Students answer riddles through secret codes.
  • Study Skills Worksheets - Great for test preparation.
  • Sorting and Classifying - Great for meeting national standards.
  • What Do You Remember? - A visual memory activity.

Activities That Improve Student Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is perhaps the most important skill we need. It is paramount not just for job success but also for making the best decisions in crucial life matters.

As an educator, you should explain to your students that almost all our mistakes can be attributed to a lack of critical thinking. You can pick just about any big blunder you made in the past. You will invariably find that it transpired because of a failure to think critically.

Remember, the best thing you can do as a teacher is to inculcate a strong sense of critical thinking in your students.

Here are the activities that will help students to develop critical thinking.

Discuss Cognitive Biases

There are myriad cognitive biases.

The fact of the matter is we succumb to these biases at some point in our lives. Hence, it pays to study these biases.

You can pick those biases you think are the most detrimental and insidious. You should then explain them to your students to learn to identify and avoid these biases.

Perhaps the most dangerous bias by far is the Optimism bias. It may sound rather innocuous because of the word ‘optimism’. However, it is far more sinister in reality.

Optimism bias tends to think that bad things won't happen to us - they will happen to others only. For example, many think they won't suffer a fatal car crash. Hence, some get involved in overspeeding and texting while driving despite knowing their perils. No wonder these two reckless acts are the main reasons for fatal car crashes.

Writing About Biases

After elucidating various biases and providing simple examples to help them grasp these concepts, you can instruct your students to write about adverse events in their lives when they succumbed to these biases.

What did you learn? What were the consequences? These are further questions you can ask.

Talking about one’s mistakes is never easy. It is hard to concede that we are wrong at times. However, if we want to become better human beings and find success, we must learn from our mistakes. But the first step entails admitting one’s mistakes.

This will also instill humility and reduce overconfidence.

Avoiding Biases – The Easy Way 

All biases and ensuring blunders are avoidable with one simple trick.

It just takes one word to get smarter – “why”. That is, you should question everything. As simple as that.

In particular, you should question all that you do and think.

Write it down first whenever you are about to take action or form an opinion about something. Then in front of it, just write “why?” You can then brainstorm and write for and against the idea in logical points.

If you make this a regular habit, you will avoid many mistakes and regrets. You will also maximize positive returns from your decisions.

Explain It to a 6-Year Old

This is something that can greatly benefit students in their academic endeavors.

We are inclined to think that we understand what has been just said. But just nodding along is not enough. You should be able to explain it to others.

The good news is that this goes far beyond altruism. In truth, it is self-empowerment. When you explain an abstruse concept to others, you bolster your own understanding of the same. Reiterating something embeds it more deeply into your long-term memory.

The social factor may also be beneficial and fruitful.

Do Your Research

Teach students to challenge common perceptions and conventional wisdom.

Explain carefully that this entails walking a fine line. You don't want to be dismissive, nor do you want to be naive. Instead, you should have an open mind and a willingness to do your research carefully.

Inform students about consulting reliable online sources. Explain that it is best to consider multiple authentic sources. Don't be satisfied with just the first entry in Google search results.

Here's how you can instill the importance of research in your students.

Instruct your students to research air pollution in the US. Those who do their research more meticulously will find that indoor air pollution is far deadlier than outdoor air pollution.

Tell them that they found out this key health fact courtesy of research. You can further instruct them to find ways of mitigating these risks.

Motivate your students to do research by telling them that they will be pleasantly surprised at the wealth of knowledge that they can uncover via dedicated research.

Beware of Disinformation

Disinformation is ubiquitous these days. It has become a weapon of choice for bad actors ranging from rogue states to unscrupulous individuals.

Critical thinking can help dispel misinformation and prevent you from becoming its victim.

You should help kids to detect and deal with weapons of mass distraction.

There was a time when fake news was disseminated largely via social media.

It is being spread by state-sponsored groups masquerading as legitimate media outlets on the internet. The scope and scale of these fake news campaigns are staggering to say the least.

One such fake news campaign involved no less than 750 fake sites posing as media outlets. Disinformation from this notorious racket reached millions around the globe and even found its way to UN and European Parliament meetings.

You can instruct kids in your class to do a project on internet disinformation, complete with case studies. You should also tell them to write about all possible ways to spot fakes and scams.

Bottom Line

Shown above are the activities to develop critical thinking in students.

You might agree that cultivating this key ability in your students is one of the best things you did for them. 

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Creative Ways to Use Graphic Novels in the Classroom! 🎥

5 Critical Thinking Skills Every Kid Needs To Learn (And How To Teach Them)

Teach them to thoughtfully question the world around them.

Examples of critical thinking skills like correlation tick-tac-Toe, which teaches analysis skills and debates which teach evaluation skills.

Little kids love to ask questions. “Why is the sky blue?” “Where does the sun go at night?” Their innate curiosity helps them learn more about the world, and it’s key to their development. As they grow older, it’s important to encourage them to keep asking questions and to teach them the right kinds of questions to ask. We call these “critical thinking skills,” and they help kids become thoughtful adults who are able to make informed decisions as they grow older.

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking allows us to examine a subject and develop an informed opinion about it. First, we need to be able to simply understand the information, then we build on that by analyzing, comparing, evaluating, reflecting, and more. Critical thinking is about asking questions, then looking closely at the answers to form conclusions that are backed by provable facts, not just “gut feelings” and opinion.

Critical thinkers tend to question everything, and that can drive teachers and parents a little crazy. The temptation to reply, “Because I said so!” is strong, but when you can, try to provide the reasons behind your answers. We want to raise children who take an active role in the world around them and who nurture curiosity throughout their entire lives.

Key Critical Thinking Skills

So, what are critical thinking skills? There’s no official list, but many people use Bloom’s Taxonomy to help lay out the skills kids should develop as they grow up.

A diagram showing Bloom's Taxonomy (Critical Thinking Skills)

Source: Vanderbilt University

Bloom’s Taxonomy is laid out as a pyramid, with foundational skills at the bottom providing a base for more advanced skills higher up. The lowest phase, “Remember,” doesn’t require much critical thinking. These are the skills kids use when they memorize math facts or world capitals or practice their spelling words. Critical thinking doesn’t begin to creep in until the next steps.

Understanding requires more than memorization. It’s the difference between a child reciting by rote “one times four is four, two times four is eight, three times four is twelve,” versus recognizing that multiplication is the same as adding a number to itself a certain number of times. Schools focus more these days on understanding concepts than they used to; pure memorization has its place, but when a student understands the concept behind something, they can then move on to the next phase.

Application opens up whole worlds to students. Once you realize you can use a concept you’ve already mastered and apply it to other examples, you’ve expanded your learning exponentially. It’s easy to see this in math or science, but it works in all subjects. Kids may memorize sight words to speed up their reading mastery, but it’s learning to apply phonics and other reading skills that allows them to tackle any new word that comes their way.

Analysis is the real leap into advanced critical thinking for most kids. When we analyze something, we don’t take it at face value. Analysis requires us to find facts that stand up to inquiry, even if we don’t like what those facts might mean. We put aside personal feelings or beliefs and explore, examine, research, compare and contrast, draw correlations, organize, experiment, and so much more. We learn to identify primary sources for information, and check into the validity of those sources. Analysis is a skill successful adults must use every day, so it’s something we must help kids learn as early as possible.

Almost at the top of Bloom’s pyramid, evaluation skills let us synthesize all the information we’ve learned, understood, applied, and analyzed, and to use it to support our opinions and decisions. Now we can reflect on the data we’ve gathered and use it to make choices, cast votes, or offer informed opinions. We can evaluate the statements of others too, using these same skills. True evaluation requires us to put aside our own biases and accept that there may be other valid points of view, even if we don’t necessarily agree with them.

In the final phase, we use every one of those previous skills to create something new. This could be a proposal, an essay, a theory, a plan—anything a person assembles that’s unique.

Note: Bloom’s original taxonomy included “synthesis” as opposed to “create,” and it was located between “apply” and “evaluate.” When you synthesize, you put various parts of different ideas together to form a new whole. In 2001, a group of cognitive psychologists removed that term from the taxonomy , replacing it with “create,” but it’s part of the same concept.

How To Teach Critical Thinking

Using critical thinking in your own life is vital, but passing it along to the next generation is just as important. Be sure to focus on analyzing and evaluating, two multifaceted sets of skills that take lots and lots of practice. Start with these 10 Tips for Teaching Kids To Be Awesome Critical Thinkers . Then try these critical thinking activities and games. Finally, try to incorporate some of these 100+ Critical Thinking Questions for Students into your lessons. They’ll help your students develop the skills they need to navigate a world full of conflicting facts and provocative opinions.

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

This classic Sesame Street activity is terrific for introducing the ideas of classifying, sorting, and finding relationships. All you need are several different objects (or pictures of objects). Lay them out in front of students, and ask them to decide which one doesn’t belong to the group. Let them be creative: The answer they come up with might not be the one you envisioned, and that’s OK!

The Answer Is …

Post an “answer” and ask kids to come up with the question. For instance, if you’re reading the book Charlotte’s Web , the answer might be “Templeton.” Students could say, “Who helped save Wilbur even though he didn’t really like him?” or “What’s the name of the rat that lived in the barn?” Backwards thinking encourages creativity and requires a good understanding of the subject matter.

Forced Analogies

Forced Analogies: A Critical thinking Activity

Practice making connections and seeing relationships with this fun game. Kids write four random words in the corners of a Frayer Model and one more in the middle. The challenge? To link the center word to one of the others by making an analogy. The more far out the analogies, the better!

Learn more: Forced Analogies at The Owl Teacher

Primary Sources

Tired of hearing “I found it on Wikipedia!” when you ask kids where they got their answer? It’s time to take a closer look at primary sources. Show students how to follow a fact back to its original source, whether online or in print. We’ve got 10 terrific American history–based primary source activities to try here.

Science Experiments

Collage of students performing science experiments using critical thinking skills

Hands-on science experiments and STEM challenges are a surefire way to engage students, and they involve all sorts of critical thinking skills. We’ve got hundreds of experiment ideas for all ages on our STEM pages , starting with 50 Stem Activities To Help Kids Think Outside the Box .

Not the Answer

Multiple-choice questions can be a great way to work on critical thinking. Turn the questions into discussions, asking kids to eliminate wrong answers one by one. This gives them practice analyzing and evaluating, allowing them to make considered choices.

Learn more: Teaching in the Fast Lane

Correlation Tic-Tac-Toe

Two 3 by 3 grids of pictures showing mountains, islands, and other landforms, with Xs drawn in each grid to form tic-tac-toe lines.

Here’s a fun way to work on correlation, which is a part of analysis. Show kids a 3 x 3 grid with nine pictures, and ask them to find a way to link three in a row together to get tic-tac-toe. For instance, in the pictures above, you might link together the cracked ground, the landslide, and the tsunami as things that might happen after an earthquake. Take things a step further and discuss the fact that there are other ways those things might have happened (a landslide can be caused by heavy rain, for instance), so correlation doesn’t necessarily prove causation.

Learn more: Critical Thinking Tic-Tac-Toe at The Owl Teacher

Inventions That Changed the World

Explore the chain of cause and effect with this fun thought exercise. Start it off by asking one student to name an invention they believe changed the world. Each student then follows by explaining an effect that invention had on the world and their own lives. Challenge each student to come up with something different.

Learn more: Teaching With a Mountain View

Critical Thinking Games

Pile of board games that encourage critical thinking skills

There are so many board games that help kids learn to question, analyze, examine, make judgments, and more. In fact, pretty much any game that doesn’t leave things entirely up to chance (Sorry, Candy Land) requires players to use critical thinking skills. See one teacher’s favorites at the link below.

Learn more: Miss DeCarbo

This is one of those classic critical thinking activities that really prepares kids for the real world. Assign a topic (or let them choose one). Then give kids time to do some research to find good sources that support their point of view. Finally, let the debate begin! Check out 100 Middle School Debate Topics , 100 High School Debate Topics , and 60 Funny Debate Topics for Kids of All Ages .

How do you teach critical thinking skills in your classroom? Come share your ideas and ask for advice in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, check out 38 simple ways to integrate social-emotional learning throughout the day ..

Get ideas and activities for teaching kids to use critical thinking skills to thoughtfully question the world and sort out fact from opinion.

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5th Grade Physical Science Worksheet

Condensation and evaporation.

Take your students through all the steps in the water cycle! This fifth-grade worksheet explores condensation and evaporation in a charmingly illustrated science activity. First, students will read through the nonfiction text and graphics. Then they will answer critical thinking questions about how physical science works in the real world.

View aligned standards

5th Grade Science Worksheets

  • Kindergarten
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90 5th Grade Science Worksheets

A burning matter

What happens when a candle burns? Why did this one burn out? In this science worksheet, your child learns about the matter changes that happen when a candle is lit and explains why the candle in this scenario burned out.

A device that condenses water

In this science worksheet, your child learns about condensers — what they do, how they work, and what they're used for.

A healthy diet is a balancing act

Each of these meals is missing something! In this science worksheet, your child learns about healthy, balanced meals and then helps complete meals to make them balanced nutritionally.

All about arthropods

"Arthropod" means "joined feet." In this science worksheet, your child learns about classifying bugs using a branching key, or dichotomous key.

All about germs

In this science worksheet, your child learns about bad microbes, often called germs, and describes unhygenic ways food can be stored.

All about tap water

Hard water has a lot of dissolved substances (solutes) in it, while soft water has fewer. In this science worksheet, your child learns some of the properties of tap water and the minerals and other solutes that may be found in it.

All about teeth

What kinds of teeth do you have? In this science worksheet, your child learns about human teeth and identifies molars, canines, and incisors.

Can you hear a tree fall in space?

In this science worksheet, your child learns about the properties of sound in space.

Circuit diagrams

In this science worksheet, your child draws circuit diagrams to represent two series circuits.

Circuit switches

Electricity will flow only through a circuit that has no gaps. Switches can open and close gaps in circuits to turn power on and off. In this science worksheet, your child learns about two types of switches and examines a circuit diagram to answer questions about this series circuit.

  • Kindergarden

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5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

85 Fun Critical Thinking Questions for Kids & Teens

students laughing as they answer critical thinking questions

Have you ever thought about using fun questions to practice critical thinking?

Students may need a little guidance to think their way through questions that lack straightforward answers.

But it is that process that is important!

How the Right Questions Encourage Critical Thinking

Every parent knows how natural it is for children to ask questions. 

It should be encouraged. After all, asking questions helps with critical thinking.

As they grow older, however, training them to answer questions can be equally beneficial.

Posing questions that encourage kids to analyze, compare, and evaluate information can help them develop their ability to think critically about tough topics in the future. 

Of course, critical thinking questions for kids need to be age-appropriate—even better if you can mix a little fun into it!

That’s what I hope to help you with today. I’ve organized the questions below into three different ages groups:

  • Upper elementary
  • Middle school
  • High school 

20 Questions: Exercises in Critical Thinking

Get a Question-Based Critical Thinking Exercise—Free!

Introduce critical thinking gently & easily with thought-provoking exercises.

Upper Elementary

Students in upper elementary grades can be reluctant to put themselves out there, especially with answers that seem weird. 

In some cases, such hesitancy is actually fear of differing from their peers (and a barrier to critical thinking ). 

But that’s exactly why it’s important to practice answering ambiguous questions. 

We want our children to stand firm for their beliefs—not cave to peer pressure. 

Additionally, students may feel uneasy about answering serious questions, uncertain of tackling “big” problems. 

However, with careful use of creative questions for kids, it’s possible to engage even the most reluctant children in this age group. 

The idea is to simply get them interested in the conversation and questions asked.

If you have an especially reserved student, try starting with the funny critical thinking questions. 

Humor is a natural icebreaker that can make critical thinking questions more lighthearted and enjoyable. 

Of course, most younger kids just like to be silly, so playing upon that can keep them active and engaged.

With that said, here are some great questions to get you started:

1. Someone gives you a penguin. You can’t sell it or give it away. What do you do with it?

2. What would it be like if people could fly?

3. If animals could talk, what question would you ask? 

4. If you were ice cream, what kind would you be and why?

5. Do you want to travel back in time? If yes, how far back would you go? If no, why not?

6. What could you invent that would help your family? 

7. If you could stay up all night, what would you do?

8. What does the man on the moon do during the day?

9. What makes something weird or normal? 

10. Can you describe the tastes “salty” and “sweet” without using those words?

11. What does it feel like to ride a rollercoaster?

12. What makes a joke funny?

13. What two items would you take if you knew you would be stranded on an island and why?

14. Do you have a favorite way of laughing?

15. What noise makes you cringe and cover your ears? Why?

16. If you could be the parent for the day, what would you do?

17. If you could jump into your favorite movie and change the outcome, which one would you pick and why?

18. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

19. What makes a day “perfect”?

20. If you owned a store, what kind of products would you sell?

21. If your parents were your age, would you be friends with them?

22. Would you still like your favorite food if it tasted the same as always, but now had an awful smell?

23. What would you do if you forgot to put your shoes on before leaving home?

24. Who would you be if you were a cartoon character?

25. How many hot dogs do you think you could eat in one sitting?

26. If you could breathe under water, what would you explore?

27. At what age do you think you stop being a kid?

28. If you had springs in your legs, what would you be able to do?

29. Can you describe the color blue to someone if they’re blind?

Middle School

At this point, students start to acquire more complex skills and are able to form their own conclusions based on the information they’re given. 

However, we can’t expect deep philosophical debates with 12 and 13 year olds. 

That said, as parent-teachers, we can certainly begin using more challenging questions to help them examine and rationalize their thought processes. 

Browse the fun critical thinking questions below for students in this age range. 

You might be surprised to see how receptive middle school kids can be to such thought-provoking (yet still fun) questions .

30. What would happen if it really did rain cats and dogs?

31. What does it mean to be lucky?

32. If you woke up in the middle of a dream, where would you be?

33. Is it ever okay to lie? Why or why not?

34. If you were solely responsible for creating laws, what one law would you make?

35. What makes a person a good friend?

36. What do you think is the most important skill you can take into adulthood?

37. If you had to give up lunch or dinner, which would you choose? Why?

38. How much money would you need to be considered rich?

39. If you knew you wouldn’t get caught, would you cheat on a test?

40. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

41. What is your greatest strength? How is that an asset?

42. If you had an opportunity to visit the International Space Station, would you do it?

43. Is it better to keep the peace or speak your mind?

44. Imagine yourself as your favorite animal. How would you spend your day?

45. Would you be friends with someone who didn’t have the same values as you?

46. How much screen time do you think is too much?

47. Can you describe your favorite color without naming it?

48. If you suddenly became blind, would you see things differently?

49. Would you ever go skydiving?

50. Describe the time you were the happiest in your life. Why did this make you happy?

51. If you had a million dollars, what would you do?

52. If you had to move to a new city, would you change how you present yourself to others?

53. What do you need to do in order to be famous?

54. If you could rewrite the ending of your favorite book or movie, what changes would you make?

55. How would you tackle a huge goal?

56. How would you sell ice to an eskimo in Alaska successfully?

57. What makes you unique?

High School

Critical thinking takes on an entirely different role once students reach high school. 

At this age, they have a greater sense of right and wrong (and what makes things so) as well as a better understanding of the world’s challenges.

Guiding teens to delve deeper and contemplate such things is an important part of developing their reasoning and critical thinking skills. 

5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

Whether it’s fun questions about hypothetical superpowers or tough critical thinking questions about life, older teens typically have what it takes to think their way to a logical conclusion . 

Of course, use your discernment as you choose discussion topics, but here are some questions to help get you started:

58. How can you avoid [common problem] in the future?

59. Do you think it’s okay to take a life in order to save 5, 10, 20 or more people?

60. If you could go back and give your younger self advice, what would it be?

61. Is it better to give or receive a gift?

62. How important is it to be financially secure? Why?

63. If it was up to you, what one rule would you change in your family?

64. What would you do if a group of friends wanted to do something that you thought was a bad idea?

65. How do you know that something is a fact rather than an opinion?

66. What would it take to get you to change your mind?

67. What’s the most important thing in your life?

68. If money were of no concern, what job would you choose and why?

69. How do you know if you’re happy?

70. Do you think euthanasia is moral?

71. What is something you can do today that you weren’t able to do a year ago?

72. Is social media a good thing or not?

73. Is it right to keep animals in a zoo?

74. How does your attitude affect your abilities?

75. What would you do if you found out a friend was doing something dangerous?

76. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?

77. What will life on Earth look like in 50 years?

78. Which is more important, ending world hunger or global warming?

79. Is it a good idea to lower the voting age to 16? Why or why not?

80. If the electrical power went out today, how would you cook if using wood wasn’t an option?

81. If you could magically transport yourself to any other place, where would that be and why?

82. When should teenagers be able to stay out all night?

83. Does the number zero actually exist?

84. What defines a generous person?

85. Does an influential person influence everyone?

Feel free to print out these fun critical thinking questions and incorporate them into your homeschool week!

5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

will your children recognize truth?

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Jordan Mitchell

Educationise

11 Activities That Promote Critical Thinking In The Class

Ignite your child’s curiosity with our exclusive “Learning Adventures Activity Workbook for Kids” a perfect blend of education and adventure!

Critical thinking activities encourage individuals to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information to develop informed opinions and make reasoned decisions. Engaging in such exercises cultivates intellectual agility, fostering a deeper understanding of complex issues and honing problem-solving skills for navigating an increasingly intricate world. Through critical thinking, individuals empower themselves to challenge assumptions, uncover biases, and constructively contribute to discourse, thereby enriching both personal growth and societal progress.

Critical thinking serves as the cornerstone of effective problem-solving, enabling individuals to dissect challenges, explore diverse perspectives, and devise innovative solutions grounded in logic and evidence. For engaging problem solving activities, read our article problem solving activities that enhance student’s interest.

52 Critical Thinking Flashcards for Problem Solving

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is a 21st-century skill that enables a person to think rationally and logically in order to reach a plausible conclusion. A critical thinker assesses facts and figures and data objectively and determines what to believe and what not to believe. Critical thinking skills empower a person to decipher complex problems and make impartial and better decisions based on effective information.

More Articles from Educationise

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Importance of Acquiring Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking skills cultivate habits of mind such as strategic thinking, skepticism, discerning fallacy from the facts, asking good questions and probing deep into the issues to find the truth. Acquiring critical thinking skills was never as valuable as it is today because of the prevalence of the modern knowledge economy. Today, information and technology are the driving forces behind the global economy. To keep pace with ever-changing technology and new inventions, one has to be flexible enough to embrace changes swiftly.

Today critical thinking skills are one of the most sought-after skills by the companies. In fact, critical thinking skills are paramount not only for active learning and academic achievement but also for the professional career of the students. The lack of critical thinking skills catalyzes memorization of the topics without a deeper insight, egocentrism, closed-mindedness, reduced student interest in the classroom and not being able to make timely and better decisions.

Benefits of Critical Thinking Skills in Education

Certain strategies are more eloquent than others in teaching students how to think critically. Encouraging critical thinking in the class is indispensable for the learning and growth of the students. In this way, we can raise a generation of innovators and thinkers rather than followers. Some of the benefits offered by thinking critically in the classroom are given below:

  • It allows a student to decipher problems and think through the situations in a disciplined and systematic manner
  • Through a critical thinking ability, a student can comprehend the logical correlation between distinct ideas
  • The student is able to rethink and re-justify his beliefs and ideas based on facts and figures
  • Critical thinking skills make the students curious about things around them
  • A student who is a critical thinker is creative and always strives to come up with out of the box solutions to intricate problems

Read our article: How to Foster Critical Thinking Skills in Students? Creative Strategies and Real-World Examples

  • Critical thinking skills assist in the enhanced student learning experience in the classroom and prepares the students for lifelong learning and success
  • The critical thinking process is the foundation of new discoveries and inventions in the world of science and technology
  • The ability to think critically allows the students to think intellectually and enhances their presentation skills, hence they can convey their ideas and thoughts in a logical and convincing manner
  • Critical thinking skills make students a terrific communicator because they have logical reasons behind their ideas

Critical Thinking Lessons and Activities

11 Activities that Promote Critical Thinking in the Class

We have compiled a list of 11 activities that will facilitate you to promote critical thinking abilities in the students. We have also covered problem solving activities that enhance student’s interest in our another article. Click here to read it.

1. Worst Case Scenario

Divide students into teams and introduce each team with a hypothetical challenging scenario. Allocate minimum resources and time to each team and ask them to reach a viable conclusion using those resources. The scenarios can include situations like stranded on an island or stuck in a forest. Students will come up with creative solutions to come out from the imaginary problematic situation they are encountering. Besides encouraging students to think critically, this activity will enhance teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills of the students.

Read our article: 10 Innovative Strategies for Promoting Critical Thinking in the Classroom

2. If You Build It

It is a very flexible game that allows students to think creatively. To start this activity, divide students into groups. Give each group a limited amount of resources such as pipe cleaners, blocks, and marshmallows etc. Every group is supposed to use these resources and construct a certain item such as building, tower or a bridge in a limited time. You can use a variety of materials in the classroom to challenge the students. This activity is helpful in promoting teamwork and creative skills among the students.

It is also one of the classics which can be used in the classroom to encourage critical thinking. Print pictures of objects, animals or concepts and start by telling a unique story about the printed picture. The next student is supposed to continue the story and pass the picture to the other student and so on.

4. Keeping it Real

In this activity, you can ask students to identify a real-world problem in their schools, community or city. After the problem is recognized, students should work in teams to come up with the best possible outcome of that problem.

5. Save the Egg

Make groups of three or four in the class. Ask them to drop an egg from a certain height and think of creative ideas to save the egg from breaking. Students can come up with diverse ideas to conserve the egg like a soft-landing material or any other device. Remember that this activity can get chaotic, so select the area in the school that can be cleaned easily afterward and where there are no chances of damaging the school property.

6. Start a Debate

In this activity, the teacher can act as a facilitator and spark an interesting conversation in the class on any given topic. Give a small introductory speech on an open-ended topic. The topic can be related to current affairs, technological development or a new discovery in the field of science. Encourage students to participate in the debate by expressing their views and ideas on the topic. Conclude the debate with a viable solution or fresh ideas generated during the activity through brainstorming.

7. Create and Invent

This project-based learning activity is best for teaching in the engineering class. Divide students into groups. Present a problem to the students and ask them to build a model or simulate a product using computer animations or graphics that will solve the problem. After students are done with building models, each group is supposed to explain their proposed product to the rest of the class. The primary objective of this activity is to promote creative thinking and problem-solving skills among the students.

8. Select from Alternatives

This activity can be used in computer science, engineering or any of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) classes. Introduce a variety of alternatives such as different formulas for solving the same problem, different computer codes, product designs or distinct explanations of the same topic.

Form groups in the class and ask them to select the best alternative. Each group will then explain its chosen alternative to the rest of the class with reasonable justification of its preference. During the process, the rest of the class can participate by asking questions from the group. This activity is very helpful in nurturing logical thinking and analytical skills among the students.

9. Reading and Critiquing

Present an article from a journal related to any topic that you are teaching. Ask the students to read the article critically and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the article. Students can write about what they think about the article, any misleading statement or biases of the author and critique it by using their own judgments.

In this way, students can challenge the fallacies and rationality of judgments in the article. Hence, they can use their own thinking to come up with novel ideas pertaining to the topic.

10. Think Pair Share

In this activity, students will come up with their own questions. Make pairs or groups in the class and ask the students to discuss the questions together. The activity will be useful if the teacher gives students a topic on which the question should be based.

For example, if the teacher is teaching biology, the questions of the students can be based on reverse osmosis, human heart, respiratory system and so on. This activity drives student engagement and supports higher-order thinking skills among students.

11. Big Paper – Silent Conversation

Silence is a great way to slow down thinking and promote deep reflection on any subject. Present a driving question to the students and divide them into groups. The students will discuss the question with their teammates and brainstorm their ideas on a big paper. After reflection and discussion, students can write their findings in silence. This is a great learning activity for students who are introverts and love to ruminate silently rather than thinking aloud.

Finally, for students with critical thinking, you can go to GS-JJ.co m to customize exclusive rewards, which not only enlivens the classroom, but also promotes the development and training of students for critical thinking.

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4 thoughts on “ 11 Activities That Promote Critical Thinking In The Class ”

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Thanks for the great article! Especially with the post-pandemic learning gap, these critical thinking skills are essential! It’s also important to teach them a growth mindset. If you are interested in that, please check out The Teachers’ Blog!

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Critical Thinking Skills Grade 5

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5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

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5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

Grades 5-6 Critical Thinking Test - eBook

Grades: 5-6

Critical Thinking, Test Prep & Tests

Grades 5-6 Critical Thinking Test - eBook

  • Printable - eBook - $0.00

Description and Features

Fifth and Sixth Grade Critical Thinking Test PDF Free Online

Assess your child's critical thinking skills with our exclusive Grades 5-6 Critical Thinking Test . This resource offers a variety of activities making it an invaluable diagnostic tool for educators and parents alike. Critical thinking forms the bedrock for success in academics and life. It equips students with the skills to analyze and form well-reasoned evidence-based conclusions. By teaching and developing critical thinking skills, you're exponentially improving a child's chances for success throughout life. "If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless." -Michael Baker

eBook Ordering eBooks are electronic versions of the book pages in PDF format. You can open the PDF eBook from any device or computer that has a PDF reader such as Adobe® Reader®. You can legally keep a copy of this eBook on three different devices. After purchase, you can immediately download your eBook from "My Account" under the "My Downloadable Product" section after you place your order.

Product Details

13214BEP
Various Authors
Critical Thinking, Test Prep & Tests
Student Book with Answers
eBook
Printable
978-1-64420-009-4
20, Color

General License - Download

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5th grade critical thinking writing worksheets

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Provide engaging prompts that encourage imaginative storytelling. For instance, you could ask students to write about a world without the internet, or ask them to describe something only using one of their five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste).

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Research Papers

Guide students through the process of researching and writing informative or argumentative essays. Teach them how to construct persuasive arguments and counterarguments on various topics, include evidence, and cite sources.

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Explore different forms of poetry, such as haikus, sonnets, and free verse. Encourage students to experiment with imagery, rhythm, and metaphor.

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IMAGES

  1. Critical Thinking Worksheets With Answers

    5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

  2. Critical Thinking Worksheets & Facts

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  3. Critical Thinking Worksheets & Facts

    5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

  4. 85 Critical Thinking Worksheets That Are Fun For Kids

    5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

  5. 11 Free Critical Thinking Skills Worksheets / worksheeto.com

    5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

  6. Critical Thinking Worksheets For 5th Graders

    5th grade science critical thinking worksheets

VIDEO

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  2. Science Tools // Scientists at Work // 5th grade science online lesson

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  5. 5th STD Science Worksheets no1 English Medium@rishtvtamil

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COMMENTS

  1. Worksheet Library: Critical Thinking: Grades 3-5

    Scratch Your Brain. Use addition and subtraction to figure out solutions to these brain benders. (Grades 3-5) From One Word to the Next. Change a letter in the previous word to make the word that completes each phrase. (Grades 3-5) Root Words. Complete this activity about words that have /capt/ or /tact/ as a root.

  2. Free 5th grade critical thinking science worksheet pdfs

    A matter sorting activity where your students will be able to identify a solid, liquid, or gas. This is a great activity to use with verbal and nonverbal students at all levels. T

  3. Free 5th grade critical thinking science worksheets

    Teach your students about the Solar Eclipse 2024 event this April with this fun and easy solar eclipse word search activity! Engage your students by challenging them to find the s

  4. Critical Thinking Activities That Get Students Moving

    Check out these critical thinking activities, adapted from Critical Thinking in the Classroom , a book with over 100 practical tools and strategies for teaching critical thinking in K-12 classrooms. Four Corners. In this activity, students move to a corner of the classroom based on their responses to a question with four answer choices.

  5. PDF Questions to provoke thinking and discussion

    These resources provoke thinking and discussion in science lessons to consolidate and extend core curriculum knowledge and understanding. The topics link to the KS3 National Curriculum. Questions to provoke thinking and discussion These resources were created in a collaborative project between the University of Bristol, and science teachers and

  6. Free Printable Science Worksheets for 5th Grade

    By incorporating these Grade 5 science worksheets into their lesson plans, teachers can ensure that their students are not only learning the necessary scientific concepts but also developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With a variety of formats such as multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer questions, these ...

  7. 20 Critical Thinking Activities For Elementary Classrooms: Navigating

    6. Play a Critical Thinking Game . This active learning activity requires students to use their critical thinking skills to make comparisons and create meaningful analogies. The fun animal safari theme is sure to inspire many funny and creative ideas! Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers. 7. Develop Social-Emotional Problem-Solving Skills

  8. Free Critical Thinking Worksheets

    Brain Teasers - A great way to stimulate thinking. Don't worry, they come complete with answer keys. Compare and Contrast - Students examine differences and similarities in a variety situations. Dictionary Practice Worksheets - Practice your dictionary skills. Fact And Opinion - Students determine the validity of a body of work.

  9. puzzles-and-brain-teasers5th Grade Logic Puzzles & Riddles Worksheets

    Logic puzzles and riddles help to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as vocabulary. The benefits of these game-based learning worksheets will last well beyond fifth grade. As kids take standardized tests and grow to enter the workforce as adults, these skills are critical for a lifetime of success.

  10. Free critical thinking worksheets

    Fact Families/Missing Addend/Open-Ended Worksheets These worksheets help students develop number sense and critical thinking. You can use the blank sheets to focus lessons on student needs. Both addition/subtraction and multiplication/division are included. Just let me know what I can do to help you use my materials.

  11. Fifth Grade (Grade 5) Science Worksheets, Tests, and Activities

    Print our Fifth Grade (Grade 5) Science worksheets and activities, or administer them as online tests. Our worksheets use a variety of high-quality images and some are aligned to Common Core Standards. Worksheets labeled with are accessible to Help Teaching Pro subscribers only. Become a Subscriber to access hundreds of standards aligned ...

  12. Printable Fifth Grade Science Worksheets and Study Guides

    The 6-Kingdoms of life. i Worksheets: 5 Study Guides: 1 Vocabulary: 4. 5th Grade Science. Topics: Animal Diversity And Adaptations, Cycles Of Life And Biomes, Landforms, Rocks And Soil, Energy Resources, The 6-Kingdoms Of Life, The Solar System, The Nature Of Science. Printable worksheets.

  13. Critical Thinking Skills for Kids (& How to Teach Them)

    Debates. This is one of those classic critical thinking activities that really prepares kids for the real world. Assign a topic (or let them choose one). Then give kids time to do some research to find good sources that support their point of view. Finally, let the debate begin!

  14. Condensation and Evaporation

    This fifth-grade worksheet explores condensation and evaporation in a charmingly illustrated science activity. First, students will read through the nonfiction text and graphics. Then they will answer critical thinking questions about how physical science works in the real world. Download Free Worksheet. See in a set (12)

  15. 5th grade science Worksheets, word lists and activities.

    Switches can open and close gaps in circuits to turn power on and off. In this science worksheet, your child learns about two types of switches and examines a circuit diagram to answer questions about this series circuit. Give your child a boost using our free, printable 5th grade science worksheets.

  16. Critical Thinking 5th Grade Worksheets

    Displaying all worksheets related to - Critical Thinking 5th Grade. Worksheets are The critical thinking, 5th grade critical thinking math problems, 81 fresh fun critical thinking activities, Lesson problem solving and critical thinking, Vocabulary comprehension critical thinking creative expression, Using short stories in the english classroom, Analogies, Homework practice and problem solving ...

  17. 85 Fun Critical Thinking Questions for Kids & Teens

    Humor is a natural icebreaker that can make critical thinking questions more lighthearted and enjoyable. Of course, most younger kids just like to be silly, so playing upon that can keep them active and engaged. With that said, here are some great questions to get you started: 1. Someone gives you a penguin.

  18. 5th grade science worksheets

    5th Grade Math Mazes, Riddles & Color by Number Bundle: end of year. Exceeding the CORE. $52.50 $75.00. SBAC Printable Practice Test CAT & PT - Grade 5 ELA. Lumos Learning. $49.95. Hi Low Level Reading Comprehension and Fluency BUNDLE - 6th Interest - 3-5 Level. Two Pencils and a Book. $19.17 $25.74.

  19. Critical Thinking Grade 5 Worksheets

    Critical Thinking Grade 5. Displaying top 8 worksheets found for - Critical Thinking Grade 5. Some of the worksheets for this concept are Pdwk sxoh, Logic critical thinking work, The critical thinking, 81 fresh fun critical thinking activities, Critical thinking 5 identifying faulty reasoning, The test of critical thinking, Critical thinking ...

  20. 11 Activities That Promote Critical Thinking In The Class

    6. Start a Debate. In this activity, the teacher can act as a facilitator and spark an interesting conversation in the class on any given topic. Give a small introductory speech on an open-ended topic. The topic can be related to current affairs, technological development or a new discovery in the field of science.

  21. Critical Thinking Skills Grade 5 Worksheets

    Displaying top 8 worksheets found for - Critical Thinking Skills Grade 5. Some of the worksheets for this concept are 81 fresh fun critical thinking activities, The critical thinking, Lesson problem solving and critical thinking, Empower the mind critical thinking, Career women, 7 critical thinking skills of common core, Skills for ou study, Problem solving and critical thinking.

  22. Fifth and Sixth Grade Critical Thinking Test PDF Free Online

    Assess your child's critical thinking skills with our exclusive Grades 5-6 Critical Thinking Test. This resource offers a variety of activities making it an invaluable diagnostic tool for educators and parents alike. Critical thinking forms the bedrock for success in academics and life. It equips students with the skills to analyze and form ...

  23. 5th grade critical thinking writing worksheets

    5th grade critical thinking writing worksheets. Sponsored. Wildlife Scene Detectives. wild voices. $23.00 $28.00. Debate Workbook for Elementary Debaters 8 Weeks of Content. Crown Academy. $14.99. 5th Grade Math Mazes, Riddles & Color by Number Bundle: end of year.