Critical thinking and literature are two disciplines that play quite nicely together, as students can use the study of the latter to strengthen their skill set in the former. Having students examine a work of literature requires, after all, that they step into the points of view exhibited by the characters in a story. And this may then push young readers into critically examining their own lives, as noted in a 2009 study.
But curriculum too can be designed to encourage students to think critically about literary works. Educators can, for example, ask students to act out the roles in a written work of literature, opening their eyes to other world views. They could then be asked to critically consider the reasons that may have led those characters to make the choices they did — actors often call this a backstory — helping them uncover major themes in a book.