Home > Our Design Lab > Formative Tasks > Generate Critical Thinking Questions

Generate Critical Thinking Questions


What does it mean to be a critical thinker and how can questions promote critical thinking?
Learn to ask authentic and guiding questions about a document

Time To Complete 

1-3 hours

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.4

I Can Statements 

  • I can:
    • Ask questions to clarify and understand texts, explore my own ideas, and solve problems
    • Ask questions to help me clarify the main ideas in a text, identify the characteristics and qualities of a text (such as genre and point of view), and compare and contrast the text to others I’ve read  
    • Describe the difference between “thick” and “thin” questions or categorize questions using another method such as Bloom’s Taxonomy or Costa’s Questioning Levels
  • I will know my questions are of high quality when they:
    • Clarify and extend my understanding of a text
    • Explore my own ideas
    • Help me to solve problems
Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:
  • Confer with students, asking them to share their questions about a text and explain how the questions deepen their understanding of the text.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below. 


Possible Activities 
  1. Facilitate a discussion about critical thinking. Start with this short video about critical thinking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLyUHbexz04

  2. Students can use Bloom’s question stems to create questions to help analyze documents. Have students create questions at each level and then compare the type of answers. How are the levels of questions different? How does the question impact the quality of the analysis

  3. Provide students with a sample DBQ. Have them categorize the question in Bloom’s categories and write their own additional questions that would help them come to a deeper understanding

  4. Play DBQ Jeopardy. Documents are shown on a PowerPoint and students work in teams to create a high-level question to go with the documents. Depending on the number of teams, the teacher can assign point values, 3 points for the best question, 2, then 1, etc.

Downloadable Resources 
Login to See More