I was introduced to See, Think, Wonder by Tanny McGregor early this year during a professional development day. I was immediately drawn toward it and wanted to learn more. After a little research I found a book called, Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison. I highly recommend all educators read this book. One teaching strategy featured in the book is See, Think, Wonder.
See, Think, Wonder can be used with pictures, photos, objects, paintings, short videos and short pieces of text. According to Ritchart, Church and Morrison (2011), “–in fact, almost anything that can be observed, interpreted, and wondered about (p. 55). I use See, Think, Wonder in my second grade class, but I think it could be used with any grade level and across all subject areas.
See, Think, Wonder is broken up into five steps, Set Up, See, Think, Wonder and Share the Thinking. In the “Set Up” step, students should be able to see the object and ample quiet time should be given to view the object and think about it.
During the second step, “See” students are asked to think about what they “see” or notice about the object. They should share anything concrete. For example, if the are looking a picture of a penguin, they might share colors they see, something about the peak, etc.
During the third step, “Think” students should share or write about what they are thinking. They should share their thinking based on what they see in the object. I try to encourage my students to support their thinking based on what they see. For example, if they say, “I am thinking the penguin is in Antarctica.” I might say, “what in the picture makes you think that?”
The fourth step, “Wonder” encourages students to think beyond the object. Questions and thoughts students create during this step may help focus a unit study or something students may want to explore further.
The fifth step, “Share the Thinking” may be done throughout or if you do a written See, Think, Wonder, can be done at the end.
During a WONDERFUL trip to Louisville, Kentucky, Wonderopolis.org gave each lead a “Wonder Jar”. The jar was full of different objects to explore from past wonders. I let each child in the class pick out an object. They then had time to think about the object before going back to their seats to write their See, Think and Wonder. While they were writing I interviewed many of the students. Below is link to some video clips of our See, Think, Wonder using our items from our “Wonder Jar”. I encourage you to try this in your classroom and would love to hear about how it goes.