Making Learning Visible

Start each day with an interesting image that creates discussion among students.

Photo of Donna Teuber
10 16

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Choose content related images that are interesting and tell a story. Have the students engage in discussion and ask "I wonder" questions. If possible, allow the students time to research the image to learn more. Encourage students to take photos of interesting things that they see and incorporate their photos into class discussions. Ask students to write their own stories based on what they see in the image.

Build on this idea by having students ask "Five Whys" about each image. You can also have them ask Why, What If, and How questions about the image. Highlight some of the questions in a class blog.

Visit the Urban Arts Partnership Fresh Prep site to learn about how you can use images that are culturally relevant to students to engage students in content. One of their examples is to use an image of Meek Mill's and Drake to explain the Cold War. They've created lessons infused with images and music to engage students. Infusing modern culture into lessons can make you more curious. Take some time to find out about student interests and find ways to incorporate those interests into lessons and assignments.

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

Images that tell a story will spark natural curiosity in students. Images heighten our observation skills and encourage creative thinking.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • All of the above


Join the conversation:

Photo of Michael Schurr

Donna, I LOVE this idea!!!! Its so simply yet so powerful. Do you have any suggestions of where to locate said images? Do you have a "bank" of them you could share? I would very much like to try this with my students!

Photo of Donna Teuber

The Library of Congress has a great collection of images that can be used. Here's the link: Creative commons is also a good site to search for images:

Photo of Paula Marra

Thank you for sharing these resources!!!! :-)

Photo of Eliana Johnson

The NYTimes "What's going on in this picture?" feature has current, interesting, often high-interest photographs. It is connected to Visual Thinking Strategies.

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