25 of the Best Books for Thinkers and Problem Solvers
Explore picture books to promote independent thinkers in your classroom. They illustrate independent problem-solvers who develop creative ideas, make connections and are critical and creative thinkers.
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Thinkers and Problem-Solvers in the Classroom
According to the IB learner profile, effective thinkers “use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. [They] exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.”
Most children love to tinker, build and create. Inspire an interest in inventing and engineering with these books for thinkers and problem-solvers. The characters and illustrations will spark children’s imagination, helping them develop and improve their own creative ideas.
In a previous post, Thinking Skills and Problem-Solving Teaching Resources, you can find picture books, videos and online resources for the classroom.
When choosing the best picture books for thinkers and problem-solvers in your classroom pick ones to inspire your students to invent, build, research, hypothesis, analysing, create and evaluating.
These books present independent and effective thinkers in different situations. Some follow characters thinking independently, critical and creatively solving problems. Others show the importance of an open mind and listening to the ideas of the others while still drawing their own conclusions. You will see characters who:
- Using knowledge to solve problems independently
- Predicting outcomes
- Thinking things through
- Making good decisions
- Trying new ways
- Making mistakes and trying again
- Recognising breakthroughs
- Using trial and error to find a solution
Thinkers: Learner Profile Graphic Organisers
You can find a pack of Thinkers graphic organizers on Teachers Pay Teachers. Click on the images to see a preview of what is included.
Books for Thinkers and Problem-Solvers
The Girl Who Thought In Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
I am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon
Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones
The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
That Fruit is Mine! by Anuska Allepuz
What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
Thinkers Discussion Questions
- Describe the different ways the characters were effective thinkers and problem-solvers.
- Which character was the more creative thinker? Why?
- How did [character] solve the problem? What strategies did they use?
- Why do you think [character] was an effective problem solver?
- Why did [character’s] idea work in the end? Did they think about how their decisions would affect the outcome and other characters?
- Did [character] make good decisions? Is there anything they could have done differently?
- Did [character] work independently to solve the problem or did they work collaboratively? Was this the best strategy?
- Does a thinker have to be brave, risk-taker….?
- Did their decision making surprise you? Were they creative in their thinking?
- How did [character’s] way of thinking impact the outcome of the story?
Do you have any favourite picture books that you use to support critical thinkers and problem-solvers in your classroom? Let me know in the comments below!
Remember to check out the post Thinking Skills and Problem-Solving Teaching Resources.