Critical Thinking Activity: What's the Point of School (Learning / Life Skills)

Grade Levels
8th - 11th
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  • Google Apps™
44 slides, 4 page handout
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High-Interest Critical Thinking Activity.

The point of school is NOT to learn.

Will your students agree or disagree?

The slideshow lesson explores the idea that the point of school is to LEARN HOW TO LEARN.

Students fill out a worksheet with critical thinking questions that include the following concepts:

  • Reading Comprehension: Inferring, Finding the Main Idea, Evaluating

  • Social-Emotional Learning Skills: Self-Monitoring / Self Awareness

  • Media Literacy: intended audience, author's intent, who benefits

  • Critical Thinking: How does our understanding change as we gain more information and become FULL-MINDED

Want to see exactly what you get before you buy this product?

  • Look at the PREVIEW PDF.

    (It is a watermarked version of the entire PDF resource. See all of the questions before you buy!)

Perfect any time you need to REBOOT YOUR CLASS:

  • After report cards or a major test.

  • At the start of the new year, term, or unit.

  • As a Substitute Teacher activity

  • To explore life skills and learning skills

IMPORTANT: This resource was FREE until Sunday, November 27 at 11:59 PM (ET).

  • Thank you to all of my supporters, followers, and early birds!

  • The video hasn't been published yet, but it will be published over the weekend.

  • Make sure to get this resource before it becomes a PAID resource on Monday!


Students are asked to answer questions on the worksheet using ONLY information provided in the slideshow (and/or video) and what they can infer. 

Depending on how much time you have, you can provide different amounts of information. How do our answers change as we become more “full-minded” with primary-source information?

Teaching Option 1: ONE round of information

  • Watch the video. Students fill out worksheets. 

Teaching Option 2: TWO rounds of information

  • Teach the slideshow lesson. Students fill out worksheets.

Teaching Option 3: THREE rounds of information

  • Teach the slideshow lesson and have students fill out worksheets.

  • Watch the video starting with the keynote speech. How do your answers change?


  • Detailed script for the slideshow lesson NOT provided.
    Please watch the video for inspiration.

  • The slideshow can be edited so you can fit the lesson to your classroom needs.


  • My name is Mike Fuchigami. I used to teach Grade 8.

  • In the slideshow lesson, I mention I have "anxiety, depression, paranoia, failure" on the Mental Health slide (slide 10)

  • In the video, I talk about how I fell into a mental health crisis as a result of something that happened at school. I felt like I failed to protect my students and couldn't inform the parents of what their children had been to exposed to.

  • I don't explicitly mention my origin story in this product.

  • However, since I alluded to it, some students might inquire or research what happened. Other students might be worried about the vagueness that a mental health crisis can be triggered as a result of something that happened at school.

  • I'm providing information about my origin story here so you can make an informed decision about this resource and how to support your class.


  • My school did a mental health lesson about bullying. The lesson was delivered through a dramatic performance.

  • In the school play, a kid was bullied. He solved his problem by going to school and committing mass murder. The school shooter justified killing his bullies to my Grade 8 students through monologue.

  • There was no follow-up discussion or support provided to Grade 8 students after the play.

  • Vulnerable elementary students were left on their own to navigate the dark meaning of the play. Parents were not informed about what their students were taught.

  • I have anxiety, depression, and paranoia. I was afraid for my safety. I was worried that a student who didn't like me would come to school and kill me.

  • I was struggling, but I had activated a lot of mental health support to help me.

  • Then I worried about the mental health of my students - they didn't receive support at school and their parents couldn't help them because they weren't informed.

  • I fell into a mental health crisis. I felt like I failed to protect my students. I gave up my 13-year teaching career to reinvent myself.

  • Click here to watch a YouTube video where I explain what happened.

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT LESSON. Why are you charging for this resource?

Great question. I wish I could give this resource away for free. There are many reasons why I have decided to make this a paid resource. Here's one:

  • The College did an internal investigation and decided there was no need to take any action.

  • I filed legal action against the College to have a judicial review of what the College decided.

  • Lawyers are expensive.


Another great question! Please help by amplifying my voice.

  • Share this product page on social media and with other teachers.
  • -- Click to share on Facebook.
  • -- Click to share on Twitter.

This product includes the following FILE TYPES:

  • PDF handout with questions.

  • Google Docs™ / Microsoft Word™ versions of the handout to edit.

  • Easel by TpT™ digital version for virtual handouts.
    (Learn more about Easel by TpT on their help page.)

  • Google Slides™ / Microsoft Powerpoint™ versions of the slideshow to edit.

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  • "Although we can talk about Rosa Parks’ courage and strength of character to refuse to give up her seat because she was Black, let’s focus on the moment on the bus when she communicated with the bus driver to let him know she wasn’t going to give up her seat." (6Cs Article 005)

  • Get 10 HIGH-INTEREST resources for $9.75. (That's less than $1 a resource.)



Option 1: Trying even though things are hard

Option 2: Standing up for others

Option 3: Working in groups

Option 4: Communicating when upset

Option 5: Thinking on your own (new ideas)

Option 6: Thinking for yourself (making informed decisions)


My name is Michael Fuchigami. I'm the teacher behind Educircles. 

  • I taught English Language Arts for 13+ years in Middle School

  • I want to help you SAVE HOURS of PREP - because bathroom breaks are important!

⭐⭐⭐ Teachers around the world have DOWNLOADED 82,769 Educircles resources!

  • THANK YOU to everyone who has purchased an Educircles product.

  • I donate 10% of everything I earn to STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH organizations. It's a promise I made to get through some dark times.

  • In January 2022, I donated $2,653.89 on behalf of the Educircles community.

SAVE HOURS OF PREP (and money) with a bundle!

This is the TED talk that I will give one day. If you like this, then you will love my resources.

Like this kind of stuff?

If you have any questions, please email or ask in the TpT Question section!

Total Pages
44 slides, 4 page handout
Answer Key
Not Included
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.


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