1. Education

Brain Teasers

Exercising Critical Thinking Skills

By

Boy (9-11) writing on white board in classroom
PM Images/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images
Ever have an extra five minutes left in class? You are done with your lesson for the day and there's not enough time to start a new one. What do you do? I've found that brain teasers work really well! Not only do they fill the time, but they also make students' use their critical thinking skills.
  • A man walks into a bar and asks for a glass of water. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says thank you and walks out. Why?
    (For the answer see the bottom!)

I've searched the internet for some great 'brain teaser' sites. Here are some of the best.

  • Cool Puzzles -- Go to the Brain Teasers and Lateral Thinking pages. Because of the frames, you are automatically taken to the front page.
  • Just Riddles and More -- When I last looked there were over 400 riddles

Here's another lateral thinking puzzle for you to try. (Remember, don't think normally, think laterally! ;-) )

  • A woman goes to heaven and notices that everyone is naked and appears as they did at age 21. She looks around and suddenly recognizes two of the inhabitants: Adam and Eve. How did she know it was them?

If you've thought of some great brain teasers, make sure to list them at the forum!

Want one more teaser before I give you the answers?

  • A bedraggled, sunburnt young woman makes her way into a restaurant located on the 5th floor of a large building. She gets seated on the balcony. Seeing that the special for the day is seagull, she orders some. When the meal comes, she tastes it, calls the waiter over, and asks, "Are you sure this is seagull?" "Yes," says the waiter, "absolutely sure." With that, the young woman jumps up and leaps off the balcony to her death. Why?

Answers:

  1. He had the hiccups.
  2. They were the only ones without navels.
  3. She was among a group of survivors from a shipwreck. They had fed her something which they said was seagull. When she ate the real seagull, she realized things were as she feared. They had given one of the less fortunate shipwreck victims. Therefore, she killed herself. (Disgusting, I know, but made you think!)
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Secondary Education
  4. Teaching Strategies
  5. Critical Thinking Skills
  6. brain teasers for education and fun

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.