Series: Arts Integration with David Cooper: Greek Mythology in the Classroom & Museum

Lesson Objective: Analyze art using a thinking routine
All Grades / Arts / Analysis

Thought starters

  1. How does the See-Wonder-Think sequence help to build analysis skills?
  2. Why is it helpful to do each step of this thinking routine in isolation?
  3. How do students use the graphic organizer?
Great method! Simple but useful!
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Excellent method of analyzing art !
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Thank you for sharing this strategy.
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I will definitely use this in my History class.
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I have used this strategy in my classroom as part of a Grant that I received this year. The grant revolved around Making Thinking Visible routines. It helped fine tune my students' observational skills in preparation for a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as well as to prepare them to 'read' photos when they reach grade 10 Canadian History.
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  • See-Wonder-Think Transcript

    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:00:02 What are the three steps we use when we interpret art?
    00:00:05 Three steps we use

    See-Wonder-Think Transcript

    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:00:02 What are the three steps we use when we interpret art?
    00:00:05 Three steps we use to interpret art were See, Wonder, and Think.
    00:00:10 [TITLE: See – Wonder – Think]
    [TITLE: A Classroom Strategy]
    00:00:13 See, Wonder, Think. It’s a strategy to observe art. We want them to look at something closely and create a thoughtful interpretation of what they’re looking at. To begin the See, Wonder, Think technique I tell the students they are going to look at an image for 60 seconds.
    00:00:31 [TITLE: STEP 1 – SEE]
    [TITLE: Observe closely.]
    00:00:35 They have no pencils in their hands. There’s no paper to write on yet. Their only job is to look at the image and try to identify small and big details. Then, I give them a graphic organizer and have them write down three things that they saw.
    [TITLE: Graphic organizers help students organize their thoughts for each step.]
    00:00:58 The graphic organizer is broken into two sections and each section has three parts to it. In each section they have an opportunity to write down either what they see, the questions that they came up with, and the wonder, or their interpretations in the Think section.

    00:01:12 The graphic organizer helps them know where they are at in the three steps. The second step is Wonder.
    00:01:18 [TITLE: STEP 2 – WONDER]
    [TITLE: What do you wonder about what you see?]
    00:01:20 I told students that now they’re supposed to come up with questions about what they saw – allowing them to make inferences, to wonder about things that they can’t see, based on things that they can see.
    00:01:31 I wonder if that is the original color of the statue.
    00:01:36 The last phase is Think and this gives these students an opportunity to make interpretations.
    00:01:41 [TITLE: STEP 3 – THINK]
    [TITLE: What can you infer about your observations?]
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:01:43 What else do you see in this image, Table One, that might indicate what this is a goddess of?
    00:01:49 They take the questions that they came up with during the Wonder section and they look for visual evidence to try to answer their own questions.
    00:01:57 She’s holding something in her left hand.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    Can you tell what that object is?
    00:02:02 Sometimes they’re going to be able to come up with a possible answer to their question and sometimes they’re not going to be able to find any visual evidence. Both outcomes are okay. Part of the job of See, Wonder, Think is to teach the students there are often times when we make interpretations about art that we don’t have any way to immediately answer.

    00:02:19 Often, it requires further investigation.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:02:22 It looks like Aphrodite. Very good.
    00:02:27 [TITLE: See – Wonder – Think is adapted from the Visible Thinking Routines developed by Harvard University’s research group PROJECT ZERO.]
    00:02:36 ***FILE END***

School Details

Prairie Vista Middle School
13600 South Prairie Avenue
Hawthorne CA 90250
Population: 936

Data Provided By:



David Cooper



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture