Among the excellent resources from The Critical Thinking Co.® is the Mind Benders series of workbooks. Each 32 to 48 page workbook is self-contained with teaching suggestions and instructions in the front and detailed solutions in the back.
In all but the introductory Warm Up level, children organize clues in grids to derive logical conclusions. For example, in one lesson, students are told, “Edmund, Ida, Joanne, and Tony are two sets of twins. Tony is a month younger than Edmund. Joanne is a month older than Ida.” Students must then answer two questions, “Which pair is the younger set of twins?” and “Which pair is the older set of twins?” These activities are like detective work as students try to match clues with identities.
Books 1 through 8 cover spans of grade levels from preschool through adults! For example, Book 1 is for preK through kindergarten, Book 2 is for grades one and two, and Book 8 is for grade seven through adult level. The first two levels are also available on CD-ROM each for a family license—you can install the program on one computer but set up individual users for all family members. The CD-ROM version adds hints at the click of a mouse and reward games after each puzzle.
Adding another dimension to Mind Benders' clues and grids, the Crypto Mind Benders series presents clues and information as mathematical/logical statements such as this group of three: “i > k > e,” “m > k,” and “m ≠ 9.” Students have to determine which letters (e, i, k, and m) correspond on the grid to the numbers 1, 2, 9, and 10. After solving three grids, students can use the results to solve a cryptogram at the bottom of the page. Two Crypto Mind Benders are available in either print or ebook versions; Crypto Mind Benders Famous Quotations and Crypto Mind Benders Classic Jokes. The solution to each cryptogram will be either a famous quotation or a classic joke, depending which book you are using. Crypto Mind Benders are recommended for grades three and up.