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Critical Thinking Detective™

Fun Mystery Cases to Guide Decision-Making

Grades: 3-12+

Critical Thinking, Language Arts, Mathematics

Critical Thinking Detective™

Grades: 3-12+

Critical Thinking, Language Arts, Mathematics

  •  Multiple Award Winner

The Critical Thinking Detective easy-to-use detective cases develop critical thinking skills by requiring students to read carefully and analyze and synthesize information to guide their decision-making. Students also develop observation skills, reading comprehension, deductive and inductive thinking skills as they evaluate evidence—the heart of critical thinking. These are captivating classroom and family activities!

For a more lesson-based approach to teach critical thinking, we recommend The Basics of Critical Thinking (Grades 4 – 9) and Practical Critical Thinking (Grades 9 – 12+).


Critical Thinking Detective – Vocabulary books are fun ways to learn new vocabulary! These popular, easy-to-use detective cases are suitable for Grades 5 – 12+. The vocabulary in these mysteries were gathered from a multitude of sources including SAT and ACT word lists and the author’s reading selections. Merriam Webster’s online dictionary provided many of the details about the words including usage, look-up history, synonyms and antonyms. Students must identify the meaning of new vocabulary as they try to uncover the subtle clues hidden in the statements from witnesses and suspects. Each mystery requires careful reading, critical thinking, and synthesizing information to identify the innocent and guilty. The cases also develop observation skills, reading comprehension, deductive and inductive thinking skills. Learning to identify and evaluate evidence is the very heart of critical thinking.


Critical Thinking Detective – Math includes popular, easy-to-use detective cases suitable for Grades 6 – 12+. Students must apply critical reading, critical thinking, and mathematical reasoning. The mathematics needed to solve these cases require the application of common middle school math concepts, but don’t be fooled! The real challenges are to first identify the clues by synthesizing from different witnesses and suspects, and then determine the necessary math needed to turn the clues into evidence.

Some cases may be more challenging for younger students, but teachers and parents can always use the optional hints provided to help students that reach a dead end. The cases also develop observation skills, reading comprehension, and deductive and inductive thinking skills. Learning to identify and evaluate evidence is the very heart of critical thinking.

For more critical thinking and detective fun, please see Something’s Fishy in Lake Iwannafsha.

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