Critical Thinking – Guess the criterion

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Here’s an interesting problem-solving group activity. Students must determine what criterion was used to rank a list of job titles. See the full description below for more details.

Buy 3+ items, get 10% off your order3 - 410 %
Buy 5+ items, get 15% off your order5 - 915 %
Buy 10+ items, get 20% off your order10 - 10020 %

In this brain-teasing critical thinking ESL activity, students must determine what criterion was used to rank a list of job titles.

First, divide the students into groups of six, giving each student one of the cards cut from the worksheet. Ensure that students do not see each other’s cards. Students must work alone at first. They must rank the job titles according to the criterion written at the top of their card, where 1 is most important and 10 the least important.

When complete, students must work together to determine the criteria other students used to put the lists of job titles in order. Students take it in turns to read aloud their list of ordered job titles. The other group members should take note of the order as they go. They then discuss what the criterion for ordering the list could be. The student whose list it is can listen, but must not help in any way.

When the other group members have arrived at a consensus, the give their answer. If they guessed correctly, it is the next student’s turn to read their card aloud. Otherwise, the students must keep guessing until they get the correct answer.Β If there is time remaining when everyone has finished, you can have a class feedback session to discuss each criterion behind the ordered job lists.