Visual Thinking: In Preparation for Critique

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Stuck in Customs

Inspired by the New York Times site – “What’s Going on in This Picture” I plan on using this image to engage students in Visual Thinking Strategies.  I plan on using this technique initially as a classroom warm up activity as a way to get students excited and talking about what they see in an image.  My eventual hope will be that the methodology we employ with images like the one above will translate when students are talking about their peer’s artwork.


Screenshot captured on Sept 15 from Visual Thinking Strategies
Screenshot captured on Sept 15 from Visual Thinking Strategies


This year our school has put a lot of emphasis on critical peer feedback informing student progress in the Arts.  We are implementing the use of a PQP model and sharing elements of Ron Berger’s ideas on the role of feedback for quality student work.  I have to also mention Reid’s blog here as he had a great post about feedback in elementary classrooms which I found very useful.  Infusing these concepts with some Visual Thinking Strategies will – I hope – be very rewarding towards students engaging in discussion, critique, and being open to talk about the artwork they create and that which their peers create.


4 thoughts on “Visual Thinking: In Preparation for Critique

  1. Matt, Thank you for the link to the NYT’s site, “What’s going on in this picture?”. I didn’t know about it and I feel it is a great prompt to use to get kids talking and writing about images. I struggle to get students to think with depth and breath and these images may help trigger. I also found this website that I have been using in art classes at the beginning of class to get kids to think. Great stuff in video form.


  2. Anne – really cool site – thanks for the link. I want to get back onto the drawing prompt thing again – I ‘ll see if I can come up with something cool in class tomorrow.


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