Creativity/Problem Solving/Critical Thinking
Lesson Plans and Resources
All links on this page were checked and updated on 8-15-2015.


The sites listed below provide lesson plans and resources for promoting problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking. Click on a topic from the site index below to find what you need. For resources and lesson plans for gifted education, click here. To go to the Educational Resources and Lesson Plans main index, click here.

Site Index: problem solving lesson plans, problem solving resources, creativity lesson plans, creativity resources, critical thinking lesson plans, critical thinking resources

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Problem Solving Lesson Plans
Problem Solving Lesson Plan Index
Fourteen lessons for a variety of subjects and grade levels.   

Teaching Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Lesson ideas from Pinterest.

No Quick Fix? Developing Problem-Solving Skills
A lesson plan from the NY Times.

Problem-Solving Process
A lesson plan in which students learn a 6-step process for solving problems.

Fun with Problem Solving
A high school lesson plan.

Problem Solving Using Tables
From BrainPOP.  See also Word Problems.

Problem Solving
A high school lesson plan in which students apply technological problem solving to everyday problems.

Practical Problem-Solving Lesson Plan
This lesson from a nutrition unit requires students to use problem-solving skills to deal with "perennial problems."

Classic Middle-Grades Problems for the Classroom
Students work in groups to solve two classic problems (Mangoes Problem and Sailors and Coconuts) that can be represented and solved in several different ways

Problem Solving: Math, Episode 2
An elementary lesson plan requiring students to explore different ways to find solutions to problems or situations.

Working with Environmental Issues
A learning module from the Peace Corps' World Wise Schools. in which students use problem-solving skills to address a real-world problem. It is intended for elementary and middle grade students.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears
A creative problem-solving lesson plan for grades K-3.

Creative Problem-Solving with Ezra Jack Keats
A lesson plan for grades K-2.

No Quick Fix? Developing Problem-Solving Skills
A lesson plan from the NY Times in which students identify and attempt to solve problems within their school using problem-solving models.

Problem Solving Resources
Archimedes Laboratory
Puzzles and Mental Activities. See their Teacher's Resources.

Improve Problem-Solving Skills by Teaching Chess
Adaptable to many grades/

Problem Solving: Definition, Terminology, and Patterns
A concise, informative essay. See also Problem Solving for another definition as well as terminology, cognitive factors, and facilitating transfer.

Big 6 Model
Information and online resources for using this strategy.

The Problem Site
Educational Games - Free math problems, puzzles, word games, brainteasers, and mystery hunts.

Creativity Lesson Plans
The Use of "Substitution" As A Creative Thinking Tool
A lesson plan for grades 1-6.

Creativity Lesson Plans
From Pinterest.

Defining Creativity for the Classroom
A lesson plan used to develop a class definition of creativity.

Tests of Applied Creativity, Logic, and Reasoning
A lesson plan for grades 5 or 6 that can be used in a variety of subjects and contexts.

Squiggle Art
A lesson plan for grades 2-3 requiring flexible and creative thinking.

Pourquoi Stories: Creating Tales to Tell Why
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 dealing with stories or folk tales that explain how or why something exists (usually in nature).

Creative Writing through Wordless Picture Books
A lesson plan for grades 6-8.

Create a New Ammendment
A middle grade or high school lesson plan from Education World in which students demonstrate critical thinking and creative thinking skills in developing a new amendment to the Constitution.

Writing Up a Spanish Storm: Using Creative Thinking for Creative Writing
Ideas for an advanced high school Spanish unit. The site also contains quite a bit of background information on creative thinking.

Creative Science Activities
many lesson plans. Not all involve creativity.

Color Works
Clasroom art projects that allow students to express their creativity.

Creative Ideas for Science Projects
From EDinformatics.

The Adventures of a Cardboard Box
A lesson plan involving divergent thinking based on a film by the above title.

Problem Solving 101: Lesson 9: Lateral Thinking

A lesson plan that helps students "think out of the box."

Creativity is Great
A lesson plan from Great Britain!

Creative Drama Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans sorted by age level.

Creativity Explored
An art lesson plan for grades 6-7.

Crayola Creativity Central
A searchable directory of lesson plans using Crayola products.   

Lesson Plans for a Creative Writing Course
Lesson plans for a thirteen-week course!

Creativity Activities
Ideas for exploring fluency, flexibility, elaboration, redefinition, and originality.

Creativity Resources
The Creative Teaching Web Site
An excellent site with articles, ideas, and information for developing more creative teachers.

How to Promote Creative Thinking
From Scholastic.

22 Simple Ideas for Promoting Creativity in the Elementary Classroom
From Edutopia. See also 40 Ways to Add Creativity to Your Lesson Plans.

Torrance Framework for Creative Thinking
An explanation of this framework for creative thinking processes.

Creativity and Innovation Rubric
For grades 6-12. See also Creativity and Innovation Rubric (Grades 3-5).

Defining Creativity
A bunch of definitions.

Creativity for Kids
Arts and crafts products.

Creative Thinking
Links to "handouts" with concise information on definitions, characteristics, traits, etc.

Critical Thinking Lesson Plans

Remodeled Lesson Plans from the Center for Critical Thinking
See their selection of "remodeled" lesson plans organized by grade level toward the bottom of the left-hand index. For information on the Center's approach to critical thinking, see Our Concept of Critical Thinking or go to their homepage.

Critical Thinking Lesson Plans
More than 20 lesson plans from the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics.

Critical Thinking Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans for a variety of subjects from Learn NC. 

Critical Thinking Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans for a variety of grade levels from Kimberly Kludt.

Teachable  Moment
The latest activities from Teachable Moment, many of which foster critical thinking on current issues.

On the Market: Thinking Critically About Advertising
From the NY Times Learning Network.

Rock or Feather? A Critical-Thinking Activity
From Education World.

Book Sorting: Using Observation and Comprehension to Categorize Books
A primary-grade lesson plan that addresses critical-thinking skills, observation and categorization processes, as well as reading comprehension and writing skills, while at the same time providing teachers with a vast array of diagnostics through observation of student interaction and conversation.

An Exploration of Simple Machines
An elementary lesson plan designed to promote the use of critical thinking and problem solving skills to help students understand how simple machines work.

Teaching Mysteries
Several lesson plans, ideas, and online mysteries to teach critical thinking and reading comprehension.

Critical Thinking with Fables New and Old
A lesson plan from Education World adaptable for grades 3-12.

Detective Fiction: Focus on Critical Thinking
A unit for grade 6.

Problem Solving 101: Lesson 9: Lateral Thinking

A lesson plan that helps students "think out of the box."

Draft Letters: Improving Student Writing through Critical Thinking
A  high school lesson plan from Read-Write-Think in which students write reflective letters to the teacher, identifying their own thoughts on the piece that the teacher is about to read. See also Developing Students' Critical Thinking Skills Through Whole-Class Dialogue, Analyzing Character Development in Three Short Stories about Women and Lights, Camera, Action . . . Music: Critiquing Films Using Sight and Sound for other high school critical thinking lesson plans from Read-Write-Think.

Critical Thinking Resources
Critical Thinking Value Rubric
See also Higher-Order Thinking Rubric and Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric.

Resources and Downloads for Teaching Critical Thinking
Tools, rubrics and lesson plans from Edutopia.

The Critical Thinking Community
Much information and many resources.       

Critical Thinking: A Streamlined Conception
Concise article written by Robert H. Ennis.

Critical Thinking Project - Glossary
A glossary of terms and concepts related to critical thinking from Longview Community College.  See their index page, Critical Thinking Project, for a great deal of information as well as resources for integrating critical thinking into college classes.

What is critical thinking?
A tutorial.


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let me know if you find a link on this site that no longer functions. My name is
Edmund J. Sass, Ed.D.
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