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See/Think/Wonder: Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
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.

Building Conceptual Understanding with Primary Sources

Smithsonian Education
Students use documents from the 1960s to develop ideas about race, equal rights, and the Constitution, to understand the context of a historical novel. Building Conceptual Understanding with Primary Sources: Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s Related Smithsonian Learning Lab collection: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/the-road-to-civil-rights/UiKNacYicxXFc3sz Thinking routines: See, Think, Wonder; Parts, Purpose, Message Educator: Lara Grogan, M.A.T., 5th grade, Quaker Valley (PA) School District Thanks to the Grable Foundation for its generous support. #PZPGH

Developing Learners' Curiosity with an Artwork

Smithsonian Education
Students examine a painting depicting jazz musicians, generating ideas and questions about their observations to begin a library research project. Developing Learners’ Curiosity with an Artwork: Biographies of jazz musicians Related Smithsonian Learning Lab collection: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/jazz-musicians/jchG0pVGCDX5WPo0#r Thinking routines: See, Think, Wonder; What Makes You Say That? Educator: Nicole Wilkinson, M.L.I.S. elementary library media specialist, Quaker Valley (PA) School District Thanks to the Grable Foundation for its generous support. #PZPGH

Setting the Stage for Inquiry with an Artifact

Smithsonian Education
Students closely observe an artifact’s details, then try to interpret their claims with evidence. Setting the Stage for Inquiry with an Artifact: Artifact analysis Related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/behind-design-exploring-american-indian-cultures-through-artifact-investigation/XaPTnKM8ktWt0PxA#r and https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/behind-design-exploring-culture-through-artifact-investigation/BzFjs2aNq4Cx4FmM Thinking routines: See, Think, Wonder; What Makes You Say That? Educators: Andrea Croft, M.Ed. and NBCT, kindergarten, and Erik Lindemann, M.Ed., 3rd grade, Quaker Valley (PA) School District Thanks to the Grable Foundation for its generous support. #PZPGH

Uncovering Complexity with a Collection of Objects

Smithsonian Education
Students collaborate to answer the question, “what is technology?” considering a variety of objects and examining their previous misconceptions. Exploring Complexity with a Collection of Objects: What is technology? Related Smithsonian Learning Lab collection: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/what-is-technology/GJ9AxwmGwiDz3iVt Thinking routines: Chalk Talk; See, Think, Wonder; I Used to Think…Now I Think Educator: Gary Galuska, M.Ed., 4th grade, Quaker Valley (PA) School District Thanks to the Grable Foundation for its generous support. #PZPGH