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Selecting the Best Thing

This support material is incorporated into critical challenges at Kindergarten and grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.

The following documents can be adapted and re-saved for your needs.

The Best Thing Word
This chart helps students select the most valued attribute from a list of positive features of a person, place or activity. For example, students may consider which of their unique talents or which of the benefits of living in their community is the most precious. To use this chart, students:

  • brainstorm positive features that you may record in words or pictures on large index cards
  • discuss what might make one good thing better than another by considering whether the features make a big difference or a little difference (you may offer examples orally or printed on cards and ask, Which one makes a big difference? A little difference? Why would make it a big/little difference?)
  • sort the good things into two categories or piles, if using index cards–those that make a big difference and those that make a little difference–and offer a reason for each decision
  • record, have scribed or paste up to three of the good things on the top half of The Best Thing chart
  • decide which of their three good things is the very best thing and offer a reason for their choice
  • illustrate and present their choice to the class, using an enlarged copy (i.e., 11" x 17") of The Best Thing.

Assessing "The Best Thing" Word
An assessment rubric is available for this chart.


Adapted from Critical Challenges Across the Curriculum series. Permission granted by The Critical Thinking Consortium for use by Alberta teachers.

Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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