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Get Kids Thinking!

Sarah Smith

What it is: According to Bloom's Taxonomy, the ability to judge the value of ideas, procedures, and methods using appropriate criteria is the highest critical thinking skill.

How Jesus used it: A perfect example of the use of this questioning technique is found in Matthew 16 when Jesus asked Peter, "Given all you know about me, who do you think I am?"

How you can use it: Panels and debates require evaluation. You can incorporate this highly effective thinking skill by asking, "Given all you know about the theories of evolution and creation, which do you believe and why?" and "If you follow someone who leads you away from God, who's more responsible-you or the false leader? Explain."

Sarah Smith was CHILDREN'S MINISTRY Magazine's 1992 Sunday School Teacher of the Year


1. Getting Ready: Bring to the meeting photocopies of this article and copies of your current curriculum. Write the six levels of Bloom's Taxonomy on a chalkboard. Beside each level, assign a different symbol, such as a star, checkmark, or smiley face.

2. BaBa WaWa Time: When teachers arrive, form pairs. Have partners each write five questions to ask their partner. Then have partners interview each other for six minutes total. After the interviews, use the article to explain each of the six levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. Then have partners decide which level each of their questions falls into.

3. A Closer Look: Have pairs join other pairs to form groups of four. Distribute your current curriculum and a photocopy of this article to each group. Have groups choose one lesson to evaluate. Have them each place a symbol by each question in the lesson that reflects its place in Bloom's Taxonomy. Ask groups to report the number of each type of question they found. Tally their numbers on the chalkboard.

Ask: What level of questions is our curriculum strongest in? weakest in? Does our curriculum promote mostly lower level or higher level thinking skills? Explain.

4. A Step Further: Have groups each write two questions for each of the weakest levels of the taxonomy for their lesson. Have groups share these questions. Encourage teachers to add questions to promote higher level thinking skills in every lesson they teach.

Close in prayer, thanking God for the bright minds he's given children. Ask God to help your teachers stimulate and challenge kids to a deeper, more thoughtful faith.

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