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Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center - Critical Thinking

Page history last edited by Valerie Schaffer 4 years ago
Opposing Viewpoints Critical Thinking Logo

 Using Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Critical Thinking Database

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Level 2 Tool

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Access to this tool does not require any user to share information about themselves





This information last checked: 10/21/2016




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Table of Contents:

Visit the OVRC Critical ThinkingDatabase:
We recommend that you open the database in a new tab, and refer to it as you review this Snapshot.  
The database remote access username & password are needed if you are outside the BCPS network.



Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Critical Thinking is a one-stop source for information on today's hottest controversial issues. The Critical Thinking module supplements Gale's Opposing Viewpoints in Context with additional content and features to provide students and teachers with a simple and effective tool to foster critical thinking while covering curriculum content. Learners interact with the text and are asked to think critically about a specific current issue from a selection of 250 topics. Each topic presents a balanced introduction to the issue with three reference entries-- an overview and two opposing viewpoint essays-- followed by links to related periodical articles and media. Content is available in audio format, and 750 article assessments are included. This database includes access to news, media and reference sources including:

  • Acclaimed Opposing Viewpoints series published by Greenhaven Press;
  • Information Plus’ statistics and government documents; and
  • Social issue selections from Gale and Macmillan Reference USA reference sources.

In this fresh, up-to-date environment, students learn how to understand and contextualize information, and to build and support well-reasoned and researched arguments 

Target Audience: Grades 6-12

Content Connections:  All



Standards Alignment

  • Curriculum Standards Browse feature allows users to locate specific content aligned with national standards and Maryland state standards for middle school and high school Science and Social Studies. In the database, click Curriculum Standards on the toolbar to find Related Subjects in the database aligned with national and state curriculum standards.
  • Provides students with opportunities for vocabulary development, reading increasingly complex text, argumentative writing, speaking and listenting. (Common Core)
  • Promotes 21st century skills by providing a variety of research and citation tools and opportunities for student collaboration, communication and debate.


Content & Features

  • OVRC Critical Thinking Fact Sheet
  • OVRC Critical Thinking FAQs 
  • Eighteen 21st century critical thinking skills are targeted and developed with OVRC Critical Thinking, including:
    • Locating credible, relevant information
    • Evaluating sources of information
    • Comprehending information
    • Analyzing information
    • Synthesizing and applying information  



  • Click Critical Thinking on the header in order to access articles with the Critical Thinking features.
    • If using the Basic OVCT search box, then only articles in the results which display the GEARHEAD icon will have the Critical Thinking features!
    • From results page of a Critical Thinking search, students can access additional/related content through Find Out More (after the article) or via tabbed results at the top. 
  • Navigation Guides:


Learning Supports & Tools

  • Read-Speak allows students to hear audio for selected sections of article text as needed during reading; supports needs of struggling readers, students with special needs and auditory learning preference.
  • MP3 Download allows students to listen to and revisit entire articles outside of class/school using thier own technology devices (iPod, cell phone, etc.)
  • Embedded Vocabulary highlights challenging words in context; upon scrolling over, students can immediately read and listen to text definitions hear words pronounced.
  • Words to Know lists embedded vocabulary words, text definitions, and audio pronunciations/definitions for review at the end of the article.
  • Take the Quiz enables students to check their own comprehension and think about what they read by responding to selected response questions aligned with 18 critical thinking skills.  Quizzed may also be used by teachers as formative assessments.
    • The critical thinking skill addressed by each question is listed with the question; clicking on the skill produces an annotation explaining each skill.
    • Students can take the interactive electronic quiz and review the results; print out the quiz; or email it to their teacher Find out More leads students to additional articles, websites, multimedia in OVRC for in-depth investigation of the topic.
  • Toolbox link on the navigation bar directs students to Tools for Getting Started and Tools for Wrapping It Up
  • Main entries are labled with Content Level icons: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced. Related periodical articles include Lexiles. Use these tools to guide students to content at appropriate levels and to encourage students to read text of increasing complexity. 


Tutorials & Guides


Educator Resources



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