Monday, June 4, 2018

Critical Thinking Detective - Vocabulary Book 1 - Crew Review

The Critical Thinking Co.™ offers students a fun way to learn new vocabulary with their Critical Thinking Detective – Vocabulary Book 1. A collection of fun mysteries for grades 5-12 available in print or eBook form. Students must identify the meaning of new vocabulary as they try to uncover the subtle clues hidden in the statements from witnesses and suspects. Each activity features between 18 and 25 vocabulary words and every one of them has the potential to implicate or exonerate a suspect. Each mystery requires careful reading, critical thinking, and synthesizing information to identify the innocent and guilty. Critical thinking improves as students assess evidence found through reading comprehension and deductive and inductive thinking skills. Learning to identify and evaluate evidence is the very heart of critical thinking.


To solve the mysteries, students will read each activity carefully and keep in mind all statements that are true. Each activity establishes two to three parameters for identifying the culprit. Students consider these parameters as they evaluate the statements from the suspects and witnesses. Remember every vocabulary word is important to solving the mystery. Students will need to consult a dictionary as needed for definitions. As they look up words, student will realize which words are synonyms and antonyms of each other. Make notes when you find evidence. Synthesizing more than one piece of evidence can establish innocence or guilt. Students will then use a process of elimination to narrow down suspects. After solving each case, students use the vocabulary words to complete sentences; and each word can only be used once.

My girls had a lot of fun narrowing down suspects. After I read each case, my 15-year-old would note words to look up and then my 16-year-old would read the definition. Then my 12-year-old would state who she thought was the culprit, and the other two would follow, as I looked in the answer key in the back of the book to see if they were correct. To my surprise, they were able to answer each case correctly. But should your students need a little help to narrow down the suspects, the answer key explains why each suspect is either innocent or guilty, so you can help your student think through each case.

The Critical Thinking Co.™ is committed to developing students’ critical thinking skills for better grades, higher test scores, and success in life. They do not teach through drill and memorization or teach to the tests – they empower the mind! Critical thinking is identifying and evaluating evidence to guide decision making. Critical thinkers use in-depth analysis of evidence to make decisions and communicate their beliefs clearly and accurately. Over time, students who practice critical thinking learn to apply it throughout their education and lives.

After having the opportunity to review the Critical Thinking Detective – Vocabulary Book 1 and seeing the many other critical thinking resources in their catalog, our family plans to work through Book 2 throughout the summer and learn more vocabulary through critical thinking. A fun way to learn vocabulary during our summer travels!

Visit the Crew Blog to read what the Homeschool Review Crew has to say about this book, as well as other products from The Critical Thinking Co.™.


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