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Visual Thinking Strategies - Encourage Critical Thinking and Close Reading in Any Classroom!

"The Dance Lesson" by Edgar Degas - Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

How familiar are you with Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS)? If you're like many, the phrase itself might be new! VTS is a series of questions to ask students when they look at art, questions that are focused on building critical thinking and close reading skills.

The basic idea is this... a group of students (or adults) looks at a work of art. Ambiguous works with people in them are the best. A facilitator then asks three simple questions:

1)What's going on in this picture? 2)What do you see that makes you say that? 3)What more can we find?

As many schools look to implement some form of virtual learning this fall, consider making VTS a regular part of your classroom. I've made a free google slides template to help you out, available in my Free Resources. You can also find a prepackaged digital interactive notebook for your students so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the artful discussion! Link is in my contact page.

Teachers - how often do you have VTS discussions with your students?

Students - have you ever had a VTS discussion with a teacher?

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