Sunday, 17 December 2017

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving - ESL EFL Activities, Worksheets and Lessons

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What makes you happy?

ESL EFL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 40 Minutes

In this critical thinking worksheet activity, students consider what makes them happy. The students then share the information with their classmates and examine the findings. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students begin by writing down ten things that make them happy. The students then share the information with a partner and ask each other why those things make them happy. Afterwards, each pair joins with another pair to make a group of four. The group discusses and finds out the most popular categories for happiness, e.g. health, education, money, relationships, etc. Students write the most popular categories from their group at the top of each column in the chart on the worksheet and write examples underneath, e.g. 'If someone says having a well-paid job, students put that in the 'money' category'. Each group then tells the class their findings. The other students listen and give their opinions on the categories and examples. The most popular categories are written up on the board and the findings are examined together as a class. This leads on to a discussion about the reasons for happiness and how it's important to choose the right things to make you happy.

What makes you happy.PDF  Free 

 

When Prayers are Answered

ESL EFL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 90 minutes

This engaging critical thinking lesson helps to teach students about the topic of reincarnation. The students begin by listening to a song based on reincarnation and completing a gap fill. The students listen to the song three times and then the answers are elicited from the students. When all the answers have been checked, the meaning of the song is discussed with the class. Afterwards, the students read the short story "When Prayers are Answered." Students then answer a set of true or false and reading comprehension questions based on the story. Next, students write a continuation and ending for the story in their own words. When the students have finished, they read the ending to a partner and compare their ideas. After that, the final part of the story is read together as a class and the students discuss similarities and differences to their story. The students then answer discussion questions based on the lesson and talk about their answers in small groups. Finally, there is a class feedback session to discuss the students' answers to the questions.

When Prayers are Answered.PDF  Free 

 

Island Adventure

ESL EFL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 1 Hour

In this imaginative worksheet activity, students use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to survive being stranded on a desert island. The students are told that their boat is sinking and that there is a desert island nearby. In groups of three, students choose four items to help them survive on the island from a worksheet. The students then complete the worksheet by naming the four items and explaining why they chose each one. Each group then explains their choices to the class. After that, the groups find out what challenge they face on the island by choosing a card. Each group reads the challenge on their card and makes a plan on how they are going to survive on the island using the four items to help them. Afterwards, the groups take it in turns to read their challenge and present their ideas to the class. The teacher assesses each group's chances of survival according to their ideas. Each group is then awarded a score between zero and three. After each group has presented, they roll a dice and the awarded points are combined with the number on the dice. Groups need to score four or more to survive. A score of six or more is needed to thrive on the island.

Island Adventure.PDF  Free 

 

My Ideal Partner

ESL EFL Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 25 Minutes

In this critical thinking worksheet activity, students prioritize and discuss the most important qualities of an ideal partner. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students look at a list of adjectives and mark the ten most important qualities of an ideal partner on their worksheet. The class is then divided into pairs. Students find out which ten qualities their partner chose and mark their answers on the worksheet. The students then discuss their answers and explain the reasons for their choices. From the items they both ticked, the students choose the five most important qualities and arrange them 1 to 5, with number 1 being the most important. When the students have finished, each pair joins with another pair and compares their 5 most important qualities. Finally, there is a class feedback session to find out the most popular qualities from the class.

My Ideal Partner.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Stress

ESL EFL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 90 Minutes

This captivating two-page lesson helps to teach students about the topic of stress, its causes and how to deal with it appropriately. The lesson also helps students to use their critical thinking, problem solving, data collection, analyzing and evaluating skills. Students begin by working in pairs and interviewing their partner on the top ten most stressful things in their life. Each pair then joins with another pair to make a group of four. The students compare and discuss their answers and come up with the top five most stressful things for their group. The group then discusses and writes down the cause or causes of each stressful thing. After that, the students conduct a class survey on how to reduce stress and relaxation methods. The students go around the class and interview their classmates using the useful questions on the worksheet. Students make a note of whether each person they speak to is male or female and how they relax and reduce stress. When the survey is complete, the students re-group and read all the data they collected and rank the findings into healthy and unhealthy ways to reduce stress. After that, each group makes a poster showing the results of the class survey. These can be displayed in the classroom for other students to see.

Stress.PDF  Exclusive 

 

The Elevator

ESL EFL Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes

This speaking activity is useful for practicing negotiating, critical thinking, problem solving, prioritizing and making preferences. The activity can also be used to practice giving opinions, agreeing and disagreeing. The class is divided into groups of four and each group is given a copy of the worksheet. The students' task is to discuss the situation on the worksheet for 15 minutes and negotiate an outcome. The situation is that there are fourteen people trapped on the 26th floor of a burning building. There is one working elevator, which holds a maximum of eight people. The elevator can only go down once. Each group has to decide which eight of the fourteen people on the worksheet they will save, and why. When the time limit has been reached, each group tells the class which people they decided to save, and why.

The Elevator.PDF  Exclusive 

 

The Rose

ESL EFL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 90 Minutes

This compelling three-page lesson helps students to think about and discuss the topic of love and understand peoples' different interpretations of what love is. The students begin by reading a short story about how a love song came to be. Students then answer a set of reading comprehension questions based on the story. When the students have finished, the answers are checked with the class. Afterwards, the students listen to a song based on the text and complete a gap fill. The students listen to the song three times and then the answers are elicited from the students. When all the answers have been checked, the meaning of the song is discussed with the class. The students then answer discussion questions based on the lesson and talk about their answers in small groups. Finally, there is a class feedback session to discuss the students' answers to the questions.

The Rose.PDF  Free 

 

What's the criteria?

ESL EFL Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes

In this critical thinking and problem-solving activity, students guess what criteria was used to put a list of ten jobs in order. The class is divided into groups of six and each student is given a card. Working alone, the students order the jobs on their card, according to the given criteria (1 being the most important and 10 being the least important). When the students have finished, they use their problem-solving skills to guess what criteria other students used to put their list of ten jobs in order. The students then take it in turns to read out their order from 1 to 10. The other students in the group analyze the list and discuss the possible criteria. The student with the card listens but cannot help in any way. The students then give their answer. If the students guess correctly, the next student reads out their card. If not, the students keep guessing until they get it right. When the groups have finished, there is a class feedback session to discuss the job order, according to each criteria.

What's the criteria.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Your Views

ESL EFL Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes

This insightful speaking activity helps students to use their critical thinking skills to discuss a set of controversial statements. Each group of five is given a set of statements. The students read the statements and then choose three to discuss. The students discuss each statement for five minutes and then vote whether they agree or disagree with the statement, noting down the reasons for the winning decision. When all three statements have been discussed, each group chooses a spokesperson to present the group's ideas to the class. After each group has presented, the rest of the class give their views. Any interesting findings can then be discussed in more detail.

Your Views.PDF  Exclusive 

 

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