Critical Thinking, Critical Writing: Using Quotations to Spur Both (23 p., $8)

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Incorporate both critical thinking and critical writing into your classroom.

This 23-page reproducible activity offers over 220 quotations for students to consider and then respond to.

You may ask students to frame their response in any number of ways. They may . . .
interpret what the quotation means
defend or refute the statement in the quotation (from an emotional, factual, or spiritual level)
• research background or other historical information about the person quoted and why he or she may have made the statement
• relate a personal experience to the quotation
• connect the quotation to a literary situation they have read in a book or article
• take the quotation one step farther (add something to the quotation and then explain their addition)
• state what they wish the author had written or said (instead of the original), and then explain their change
However you use the quotations, your students are certain to be more involved in their writing.

However you use the quotations, your students are certain to be more involved in their writing.

To select the quotation, you might . . .
• choose a single quotation that is most relevant for all of your students
• have a different student draw a quotation each day or every few days
• let the student who scored the highest on a recent test draw several quotations and then choose one to which the class responds
• let students each draw one quotation and then barter with each other if they want to trade
• allow the students to draw separate quotations to address
• pick a student to draw a quotation, then have the class members discuss the quotation before they begin writing
• allow the students to adjust or amend the quotation in some way that is more relevant to their lives
announce the quotation for the following day so students can think about it overnight

Here are some sample quotations:
• The ultimate measure
of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

• He who laughs,
lasts. — Mary Pettibone Poole

• If we had
no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. — Anne Bradstreet Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us. — Wilma Rudolph

• The only thing
we have to fear is fear itself. — Franklin D. Roosevelt

• Every nation has
the government it deserves. — Joseph De Maistre

• I don’t know
the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. — Bill Cosby

• He who is
not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. — Muhammad Ali

This classroom-tested activity is suitable for middle school, high school, and college classes. Created by Susan Thurman.

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23
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Critical Thinking, Critical Writing: Using Quotations to S
Critical Thinking, Critical Writing: Using Quotations to S
Critical Thinking, Critical Writing: Using Quotations to S
Critical Thinking, Critical Writing: Using Quotations to S