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Middle School Bundle

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 5-8 about false memories, confirmation bias, Occam's razor, the strawman fallacy, and pareidolia.


The Building Critical Thinkers lesson plans and worksheets are designed to assist educators in effectively teaching critical thinking skills to their students. With some modifications, these lessons can also be suitable for home use.

The middle school critical thinking bundle is for grades 5 to 8. It includes 31 pages of lesson plans and worksheets covering five topics:

  1. Confirmation Bias
  2. Strawman Fallacy
  3. Pareidolia
  4. False memories
  5. Occam's Razor

1. Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out and accept information that already confirms what we want to be true, while ignoring or rejecting information that contradicts our beliefs. To illustrate this concept, we’ll explore the common belief that “more babies are born during a full moon”.

2. Strawman Fallacy

This lesson introduces students to the Straw Man Fallacy, which is when someone misrepresents the position of another person in order to easily "knock it down". Ensuring you don’t set up a straw man while creating an argument is essential in being honest and accurate. This lesson also helps students extend this concept to their own discussions and conflicts through role-play.

3. Pareidolia

In this lesson, we'll talk about pareidolia—how our brains like to see patterns in things that aren't really there, like finding animal shapes in clouds or faces in wood grain. Sometimes, our brains can play tricks on us, so it's important to know about it. We'll also do activities related to media and art in this lesson.

4. False memories

Our memories are fallible, and critical thinking requires recognizing that we shouldn’t rely on our memories 100% of the time. To introduce this concept, students will participate in an activity designed to elicit a false memory. Then, students will read about a study that described this phenomenon.

5. Occam's Razor

Occam's razor is a problem-solving tool to help make decisions and determine the cause of a phenomenon; in this case, the belief in the Loch Ness Monster. Students are also asked to reflect on their own thinking in this lesson.