Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in Your Reading

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LCP Ep 12: Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in Your Reading


Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in Your Reading with Literary Cafe Podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #literarycafepodcast #reading #higherorderthinkingskills #criticalthinkingskills #languageartsAre you wondering what we mean by “higher order thinking skills” or “critical thinking skills”?

And what do you do with them and how do you teach them to your children? And how are you supposed to do that with reading?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she explains what higher order thinking skills are, why they are important, and how you can practice them with your children in fun and easy ways.


Show Notes

Using Higher Order Thinking Skills with Your Reading

Different Levels and Kinds of Higher Order Thinking Skills

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Thinking skills can be organized in a hierarchy of difficulty (and also according to stage of child and learning development). In other words, from least to most difficult and acquired as a child ages.

For a detailed description of these thinking skills, what they look like in your child, why they are important, and how to practice using them in easy and fun ways, you will want to listen to the podcast.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a method of labeling and describing the different levels of thinking skills and what they entail.

Knowledge or Remembering – This thinking skill is the ability to recall information and details or memorize facts or words.

Comprehension or Understanding – This skill requires the need to understand the meanings of the words and what they mean when used together in phrases or sentences to express an idea. Your child needs to have the vocabulary knowledge and the capacity to understand the concept being presented.

Application or Applying – Not only does this skill require understanding and comprehension of something, but also the ability to take that learned and understood information and apply it to a similar situation.

Analysis or Analyzing – This skill requires understanding something and making connections in what is being read or studied because the connections are not spelled out or clearly identified for the learner. The learner has to make the connections on his or her own.

Synthesis or Revising – This thinking skill allows your child to make a leap or build new thoughts based on the connections they’ve made using the other thinking skills we’ve been discussing – formulating what they are comprehending, learning, and connecting from the reading and making something new or forming new thoughts from all of this.

Evaluation – This is where your child learns to make a judgment about something, form an opinion or make a decision.

Question Starters to Practice Different Levels of Thinking Skills

Bloom’s Question Starters Handout

Higher Order Thinking Question Stems Handout

Suggested Activities to Practice Using Different Levels of Thinking Skills

Recalling and retelling information through retelling what your learner has heard during a read aloud of a short story or chapter.

Graphic Organizers or Mind Mapping – Use these to practice thinking skills and organize and use different concepts or ideas.

Graphic Organizers to Print

Mind Map Examples for Different Topics

Activities and Projects Related to a Book (Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literature Study) – using different kinds of thinking skills and learning styles

Podcast and Show Notes with Handout for Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literature Study

Have your learner create his or her own assessment to either give to another learner or themselves – a quiz, test, paper, project – and have them write it to include different levels of thinking skills. They would also need an answer key or something to evaluate the outcome of the assessment, requiring them to use even more thinking skills.

Have your learner create a lesson plan around your book, maybe literary devices or techniques, story elements used in the book, or character analysis. Have him or her include a lesson to present with created visual aides, guided practice opportunity with the class like an activity, game, or class practice, and an assessment like a quiz, practice worksheet, or other assignment.

Consciously making the effort and taking time to incorporate different levels of questions or activities or projects not only can make reading more interesting but definitely expands your learner’s thinking abilities and prepares them for knowing how to think – and not just answer questions only requiring recall.

This helps to develop our problem solvers, innovators, creators, and leaders of tomorrow.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about using and practicing thinking skills  that your family has found helpful! Or, if you found any ideas here helpful or have any questions! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for March’s topic when we discuss developing language skills in your younger learners. I have all kinds of practical and fun ways to get your early learners reading and writing and loving it! We are also going to be tying it to Dr. Seuss’ birthday which is also celebrated in March!

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers with middle and high schoolers and are wondering how to get started writing in these grade levels!


Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in Your Reading with Literary Cafe Podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #literarycafepodcast #reading #higherorderthinkingskills #criticalthinkingskills #languagearts



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