A picture is worth...a thousand good questions.

Trigger student curiosity of a new topic with a striking image.

Photo of Karen Qualey
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Start your class with a striking image (Pixabay is a good source for free, high-quality, public domain photos) and ask them to take time to generate at least three questions about the image. Students share their questions, thus guiding the introduction to a new topic. Good teachers always use a "hook", but an image can often provoke many different kinds of curiosity for a diverse group of learners.  The questions will vary greatly and that's for the better.

Spark Curiousity

Example Topic: Victory Day / Russia

Write three questions about this topic: (examples)

1. Is the girl happy or sad?

2. What is that symbol in the upper left-hand corner?

3. Why is she wearing a hat?

Image title

Topic Exploration

It's even better to give students a list of topics that are likely unknown to them. Have them do a Google image search for a picture related to the topic and put their favorite image into a shared presentation. Students have to add three questions to their topic and try to answer questions on another student's topic.

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

Encourage students to lead their own learning with their good questions. Learners are eager to make visual connections between what they know and what they want to know.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • All of the above


Join the conversation:

Photo of James

I love the simplicity and deepness of this idea. It could go in so many different directions.
I wonder how students would react to historical images compared to contemporary images.
What if you allowed students to create an observational journal and share pictures that they take.

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