See/Think/Wonder: Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine
A "Visible Thinking" routine for exploring works of art and other interesting things from Project Zero. This routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. It helps stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry. Asks the questions, "What do you see?", "What do you think about that?", and "What does it make you wonder?" SEE / THINK / WONDER
A routine for exploring works of art and other interesting things
What do you see? What do you think about that? What does it make you wonder?
Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?
This routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. It helps stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry.
Application: When and where can it be used?
Use this routine when you want students to think carefully about why something looks the way it does or is the way it is. Use the routine at the beginning of a new unit to motivate student interest or try it with an object that connects to a topic during the unit of study. Consider using the routine with an interesting object near the end of a unit to encourage students to further apply their new knowledge and ideas.
Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?
Ask students to make an observation about an object--it could be an artwork, image, artifact or topic--and follow up with what they think might be going on or what they think this observation might be. Encourage students to back up their interpretation with reasons. Ask students to think about what this makes them wonder about the object or topic.
The routine works best when a student responds by using the three stems together at the same time, i.e., "I see..., I think..., I wonder..." However, you may find that students begin by using one stem at a time, and that you need to scaffold each response with a follow up question for the next stem.
The routine works well in a group discussion but in some cases you may want to ask students to try the routine individually on paper or in their heads before sharing out as a class. Student responses to the routine can be written down and recorded so that a class chart of observations, interpretations and wonderings are listed for all to see and return to during the course of study.
- Lesson Plan
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- Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
- Inquiry Strategy Observation Questions Teaching Method Strategies
- Use Rights Links: Visible Thinking by Project Zero is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Educational Use: Guided questions, Inquiry, Visual/Spatial, Discussion/Debate Learning Resource Type: Other Educational Role: teacher Time required: 1 hr Interactivity Type: Active Accessibility Feature: none Accessibility Hazard: noFlashingHazard, noMotionSimulationHazard, noSoundHazard Accessibility Control: None
- Publisher: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
- Additional Info
- Language: English