Good News for Teachers
You already know the bad news. There are scores of books on critical thinking and scores more websites. Almost all are aimed at college or university. Material suitable for years 8-12 is hard to find, and concise easy-to-read material is even harder to find.
Now the good news. This website from WA Skeptics is different. It helps not by formal methods but by articles showing critical thinking in action in a fun and entertaining way. Examples: an inside look at how psychics deceive us, a thrilling story by Raymond Channeller (your money back if you don't laugh out loud), bizarre attempts on the million dollar prize, UFOs that weren't UFOs, and why chocolate is good for you.
Critical thinking without tears. Want your students to love critical thinking but you don't have the time? This website can get them started. Do you have the time but lack a focus? Our WA Skeptics Awards for Young Critical Writers may be just the thing. They challenge secondary students to write critically about any curious belief, and to include their own test or survey. The Awards are not a competition, entry is free, and we provide classroom guidance in How to Write Your Entry. Entrants learn by doing. As the proverb says, "to do is to remember, to listen is to forget". Entrants also have fun. Read what they say about our Awards in Critical Thinking in the Classroom.
The most common article length is 1000-1500 words, which takes 4-6 minutes to read at the average student reading speed of 250 words per minute. The most common reading difficulty is 8-9 as measured by Gunning's Fog Index (Gunning R The Technique of Clear Writing McGraw-Hill 1952 pages 34-39). The index is roughly equal to the grade level required for 90% comprehension. For comparison 6 is required for comics, 9 for Reader's Digest, and 14 for encyclopedias. On this website no article reaches 12, which is the average reading comprehension level of 17-year-olds. To read all 68 articles takes about eight hours. More than half have one or more graphics.