Subject: SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 1 - 2 class sessions

Topic: Reasoning

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12, 9

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will represent how critical thinking skills can be used in and out of school.

Know Before You Start: Students should be familiar with the term critical thinking.


  • Ask students:
    • “What does it mean to be critical?”
    • “When have you used critical thinking skills in our class?” 
    • “Which critical thinking skills do you use on a daily basis?”


  • Split students into two teams. Each team will be supporting one side of a controversial topic.
  • Explain what the hot topic is and the general stance that each team will take, e.g., using ChatGTP in school, banning books, etc.
  • Have each team generate a list of reasons to support or oppose the controversial topic as well as find resources to provide evidence. 
  • Have students debate using their findings. 
  • Have students reflect through a whole group discussion on which critical thinking skills they used to research, debate, and collaborate with their teammates. Record a list of the critical thinking skills captured in the conversation.
  • Have students select one of the critical thinking skills discussed and create a comic demonstrating how that skill is used in and out of school.


  • Display student comics in the classroom for visual reminders of their critical thinking skills.
  • Students will share their comics in partnerships or small groups. 
  • Share with the class that thinking critically helps to improve their decision-making skills, and problem-solving ability, stimulates their curiosity, and helps them make sense of the world. Critical thinking helps you reflect and understand your own points of view and biases.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover to read their comics aloud.
  • Provide students with the Main Idea Web or Concept Map graphic organizers to plan for their comic.

Suggested Story Starters: