Critical Thinking in Action: Sustainability

Students will be exposed to various entry points of a sustainability topic in various formats.This lesson is to serve as an introduction to different types of sources that can be used to learn about and research topics - including multimedia sources, Internet, and scholarly articles - and the attributes of different kinds of sources. They will take notes as they hear/read the sources using Elements of Thought (based on Paul-Elder's critical thinking model) and reflect in small groups to evaluate the credibility of the sources and what next steps they will take to further research. 

This is a face-to-face, in-class activity. The duration of the in-class activities for this lesson is approximately 60-75 minutes. Length and difficulty of content should be considered when selecting the examples.

It is highly adaptable for content and theme although it was designed, originally, for a faculty member whose first-year composition class is themed around sustainability. Instructor will select various source types to explore a single topic. Possible sustainability-themed examples include: food deserts, clean water in the US, bee colony collapse, etc.

Source types should include:

  • One short-form video product (I.e. TED Talk, video essay, documentary clip, recorded speech, or other topical video informational product)
  • One published essay, opinion editorial, or commentary
  • One informative (unbiased) article or reference entry.

Resource Type(s):

License Assigned: 
CC Attribution License CC-BY