Young readers love to experience the children’s classic “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis as a read-aloud in class. This book provides a fun and easy-to-understand example of the value of critical thinking and creativity. I would use the Socrates’ conversation on critical thinking as a follow up to this story to help students understand how thinking differently makes life so much better. I would start by teaching the word “unexamined” and putting the concept into student-friendly terms. The essential questions, “How can critical thinking help you live a better life?” or “Do you have to think critically to live a good life?” would help students express their opinions clearly and appreciate the value of thinking for themselves.
Level: Elementary English/Language Arts
Subject Area: American Literature
Author: Tiffany Heitman