Creative and Critical Thinker - Portrait of a Graduate

What is a creative and critical thinker?

As students grow as creative and critical thinkers, they can create new solutions to challenges that arise in their life and innovator for tomorrow's future.

Creative and Critical Thinkers:

  • Create through design-build processes
  • Problem-solve and create unique solutions
  • Apply learning in new and different ways
  • Express thoughts, ideas and emotions meaningfully through the arts
  • Evaluate ideas and information sources for validity, relevance, and impact
  • Use evidence to support their thinking

Ideas for Discussing Creative and Critical Thinking at Home

Pay attention to when you use creative and critical thinking skills throughout your day.  Try to regularly share these examples with your student. Explain how you used specific creative and critical thinking skills to work through scenarios. Over time, you might share examples of how you used skills well and opportunities for you to grow, too. Sharing your stories will help build understanding of how skills can be used in and beyond school and why these skills are important.

You might ask your student questions such as:

  • How did you use your creativity today? 
  • Did you ask any questions today? How did questioning help your thinking?
  • Did you have a need to problem-solve? What steps did you take? 
  • Did your thinking change about anything? How so?
  • In what ways do you ensure information you use is meaningful and reliable?
  • How can you be a good creative and critical thinker when you are ____ (ex: figuring out a solution to a problem; evaluating the reliability of a news source; creating something to share your thoughts and feelings)?
  • What do you want to remember to be a good creative and critical thinker tomorrow?

Portrait of a Graduate in Action

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