5 tips to improve your critical thinking 

Level: B2/C1/ C2

Type of English: general

Lesson activities: listening comprehension, vocabulary building, speaking practice. 

Grammar focus: 

Tags: criticalthinking, learning, decision making

Every day, a sea of decisions stretches before us, and it’s impossible to make a perfect choice every time. But there are many ways to improve our chances — and one particularly effective technique is critical thinking. Samantha Agoos describes a 5-step process that may help you with any number of problems. 

During the 1-hour class your teacher will take notes of your mistakes and make corrections.

These will be emailed to you after the lesson.

It is a good idea to revise the same vocabulary at the start of the next lesson.

Opening Questions:

What is critical thinking?  

How many decisions do you make each day?

Do you have any strategy for making important decisions?

Is being critical always negative?

New Vocabulary Questions:

What is a sea of decisions? 

What is the latest craze in your country?

What does it mean to be bombarded with email?

Name 2 things that you can approach?

What tools do you have at your disposal?

Why would we need to deconstruct something?

Do you have any bias?

Can you name something that was revealed by an investigation?

What are hidden issues?

What is the difference between scrutiny and skepticism?

Name something very reliable in your life?

Does straightforward mean easy or in the same direction?

If something is obscured, what is happening?

What does it mean to sift flour or sand?

What does it mean to sift through information?

What is the verb form of the word equipment and how can it be used?

What is the latest social media fad with kids these days? 

Does the next English class at 6 am suit you? 

In which situation do we determine something? 

What does it mean to weight your options?

What does it mean if your logic is sound?

What do the Americans call petrol/petroleum? 

What does it mean to fill up your car?

What does a surge do?

Do you like to explore a spectrum of viewpoints about a topic?

How can we eradicate malaria from the world?

Watch the Video:

Task: Try to write down the 5 tips

Listening Comprehension Questions:

What are the 5 tips?(answer below)

What are examples of critical questions?(answer below)


What do you usually do when making decisions?

Do you have a process when making voting decisions or political decisions?

Do you agree that if we all use critical thinking it has the power to make the world a more reasonable place? 

Do you think that critical thinking could be used to predict someone else’s decision? 

New Vocabulary Practice:

When we use new vocabulary in a different context It helps to memorize. 

We spoke about a sea of decisions but what else can we have?, a sea of ……….. ? 

Does your city have a Christmas craze?

Bombarded with email and bombarded by ………………..?

What is your approach to buying a gift for someone special?

What educational resources do you have at your disposal?

Can you use deconstruct in reference to something?

How can you identify your own bias?

Can you name a product that was revealed recently?

What are hidden issues in software?

What was the last thing you scrutinised

What was the last thing you were skeptical of?

Name a reliable person in your life?

Is critical thinking straightforward?

Describe a way to obscure a problem?

Name something that you can sift?

What do you need to equip yourself with when hiking? 

What was the last summer fad? 

Do Monday morning meetings suit you? 

What can we determine by an increase in global warming? 

What is the best and quickest way to weight your options?

Name 2 things that you can fill up?

Can you use surge in a sentence?

Name 2 different types of spectrums?

Name something we should eradicate from the world?


Your boat is sinking! There is a desert island nearby. You can swim there, but you can only take one bag with you. Choose 4 items to help you survive on the island. 

critical thinking survival items

Name your 4 items and explain your choices

Item 1: ………………….

Reason …………………………………………. 

Item 2: ………………….

Reason …………………………………………. 

Item 3: ………………….

Reason …………………………………………. 

Item 4: ………………….

Reason …………………………………………. 

Solution and definitions:

The 5 Tips:

1. Formulate your question (know what you are looking for) 

2. Gather your information (know your question) 

3. Apply the information (ask critical questions)

4. Consider the implications (intended and unintended)

5. Explore other points of view (why are alternate views attractive?)

Critical Questions:

What concepts are at work?

What assumptions exist?

Is my interpretation of the information logically sound? 

What is shaping my approach to this situation? 

Do I assume the teller is telling the truth?

Based on the evidence, is it logical to assume I’ll win any money? 



To reveal = to show/ expose/ launch 

At your disposal = available to you 

A craze = a trend / something that is fashionable for a while/ something that is temporarily popular  

To scrutinise = to examine closely 

Skepticism = to doubt or to question something/something / to not believe automatically 

Reliable = consistent and trustworthy 

To deconstruct = to take apart so as to understand better 

A straightforward person = a direct person 

A straightforward solution = a simple solution 

Obscured = hidden by 

To sift through = to look into something in detail 

weight your options = to evaluate your options / the pros and cons 

To have sound logic = to have solid logic / good logic 

Petrol = gas ( in the US) 

To fill up = to complete a form / to fill to the maximum 

A surge = a strong increase 

To eradicate = to complete remove/ kill/ destroy 

To determine = to decide something in a formal way

To suit = to be appropriate 

A fad = something that is temporarily popular 

A sea of decisions = a lot of decisions

To be bombarded = to receive a lot of something 

To approach = the way you plan to achieve something 

To deconstruct = to look at the individual parts 

Bias = personal preferences 

Hidden issues = ob problems 

Obscured = hidden 

To equip = to have the correct tools to do something 



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