Thinking activities need to be planned and scaffolded.
Students need to be aware that they are thinking (meta-cognition)
and that different thinking strategies are required for different problems.
Edward De Bono believes that, "..many highly intelligent people are bad thinkers.
Intelligence is like the horsepower of a car. A powerful car has the potential to drive at speed.
But you can have a powerful car and drive it badly.
Thinking is the driving skill with which each individual drives his or her intelligence."
('Mind Power' 1995)

Thinking skills vocab and definitions.

Creating a thinking curriculum:


Tools to promote higher order thinking:

Thinking tools, graphic organisers and taxonomies of thinking:
Tools and strategies: This site contains information, instructions and downloads for tools and strategies and models of learning:

Tony Buzan - the mind maps creator.

Tony Buzan is a best selling author on imporving memory and brain power. He talks about the importance of mind mapping. Well worth listening to.

Thinkers Keys - Tony Ryan's keys encourage open ended questioning, questions that require creative and critical thinking.

Download the original keys from:


Michael Pohl's Thinkers' keys

On this site, you will find examples of how to use the Thinkers Keys and pages you can print to fill out about the Thinkers Keys
This is a great site with templates to use!!

Solo Taxonomy:

This is an excellent tool for assessing children's thinking, setting learning outcomes for inquiry and can also be used for developing questioning.

I put together a powerpoint about my understanding of Solo - to do this I simply cut and pasted from lots of sources: Our staff found it easy to follow so hope it may be useful to others.

The following are useful websites for information on Solo:

Six hats:

Six Thinking Hats is a strategy devised by Edward de Bono which requires students (and teachers), to extend their way of thinking about a topic by wearing a range of different ’thinking‘ hats:

White hat thinking focuses on the information available and needed.
Black hat thinking examines the difficulties and problems associated with a topic.
Yellow hat thinking focuses on benefits and values.
Red hat thinking looks at a topic from the point of view of emotions, feelings and hunches.
Green hat thinking requires imaginative, creative and lateral thinking about a topic.
Blue hat thinking focuses on reflection, metacognition (thinking about the thinking that is required), and the need to manage the thinking process.
The colours help students to visualise six separate modes of thinking and to convey something of the meaning of that thinking, for example, red as pertaining to matters of the heart, white as neutral and objective.

What is it's purpose?

Students learn to reflect on their thinking and to recognise that different thinking is required in different learning situations.
For more information on the above, visit:

Other useful sites for information on using 6 hats:

Teaching ideas:

Blooms taxonomy:

blooms_triangle_old.gif blooms_triangle.gif

Blooms Anderson and Krathwohl revised version

Useful sites:


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