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The Thinkers Keys have been sold and implemented in at least 28 countries around the world. There are 20 specific strategies – 10 critical and 10 creative. They were initially written for 8 to 14-year olds, although we have often seen them being used with 5-year-olds, senior students, and even in adult learning environments.

Decision

This strategy helps you to make a decision. Highly suitable for procrastinators.

Info

Do verifiable research on the issue that you are studying. This generates great thinking in itself.

Rubrics

Set the standards for a learning task.

Action

Write out the Action Plan for doing a task.

Perspectives

Name a specific issue, and then state the different viewpoints to that issue.

Purpose

Clarify your reasons for engaging in an activity.

Reflection

Go metacognitive. Think about your own thinking.

Consequences

What is most likely to occur as a result of placing something into practice?

Question

Think of the key question for the issue or the unit of work that you are studying.

Three Whys

Ask 'Why is that?' three times over when you are exploring an issue.

Brainstorming

Generate lots of solutions to a problem.

Combinations

Combine disparate objects into an all-new object.

Improvements

Design improvements to a specific product or process.

Challenge

Challenge yourself to think very differently by addressing a provocative statement.

Inventions

Develop innovative devices that could be used in your everyday life.

BAR

Use the 3 steps of BAR (Bigger Add Replace) to make some changes to an object eg a laptop computer.

Brick Wall

Clarify what is stopping you from accomplishing something; and then think of how to get around it.

In Common

Name two different things / concepts, and then brainstorm common points between them.

Reverse

Generate answers to a reverse question eg How can we encourage poor nutrition? And then list the opposite answers.

Prediction

Think ahead. Ponder how things may have changed in 5, 10 or even 100 years from now.