Thinking Tools
Easy to use tools for you and your students

Students require thinking tools to organise their data during the investigative phase of any task. It is a crucial stage, as the thinking tool captures the student’s research and thoughts. It is therefore a key juncture for the student to receive formative feedback, to ensure they are on the right track.

thinkdrive has over 40 ready-to-use thinking tools in both MS Word and google docs, all aligned to their cognitive verbs. For example:

Cognitive Verb itc Thinking Tool
analyse SWOT Analysis
Icon Prompt
PCQ / PCQ Extension
argue PCQ / PCQ Extension
Judge Jury
calculate Solution Path
classify Fishbone Diagram
Flow Chart
Silent Card Shuffle
compare Double Bubble Map
contrast T-Chart
create MAS
1:4:P:C:R
Image Associated Ideas
Word Association
Split Y-Chart / Y – Chart
describe describe
Attribute Listing Organiser
Concept Map
Y-Chart / Split Y-Chart
discuss PCQ
PCQ Extension
evaluate Elimination Draw
Extent Barometer

Thinking tool and purpose

By aligning the thinking tools to its cognitive verb, it provides a clear purpose of the activity.

For example, if students are completing a Double Bubble Map, it’s because they are required to compare two things, such as authors, styles of running or scientific theories.

Alternatively, students might be requested to complete a cause-effect map because they are required to explain the reasons why the Industrial Revolution, the Eureka rebellion or sports tantrums occurred and their effects.

Each thinking tool has its own specific purpose.

Thinking tools and Student Feedback

Meaningful student feedback should be provided early and regularly. Since data is sorted into various categories in the thinking tools, insufficient work in any particular area is easily spotted and specific feedback can be provided to targeted areas.

Furthermore, the use of the thinking tools usually occurs very early in any longer-term research task, allowing sufficient time for students to act on the feedback provided.