Lesson Plan: See / Think / Wonder

A routine for exploring works of art and other interesting things from Harvard University's Project Zero: Visible Thinking Strategies


This lesson and thinking routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. It helps stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry.

National Core Standards

Perceive and analyze artistic work

Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work



Time Required

15 minutes


Objects and images that can be closely observed


  1. This lesson may be modeled as a large-group discussion and then conducted in small groups or partners.

  2. Ask students to closely observe a concrete object on the table or in the room. It could be anything: a stapler, a pencil, a plant. Ask them to state one observation about this object in the form of: “I see ________.”

  3. Follow up after that observation statement by asking, “What do you think about that?” Students may add considerations about design, function, aesthetics, anything using the phrase: “I think ______.”

  4. Finally, ask students to pose a question about this object using the phrase: “I wonder ______.”

  5. Conduct this See / Think / Wonder progression with other objects, images, or abstract topics and relationships. If you are preparing for a visit to UMMA, you may use this strategy while observing possible images from your tour, found on UMMA’s Exchange website.


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Curriculum — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (March 31 2017 @ 10:47 am)
Lesson plan — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (March 31 2017 @ 10:47 am)
Pre-visit — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (March 31 2017 @ 10:46 am)
Previsit — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (April 4 2017 @ 10:51 am)
Tour — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (March 31 2017 @ 10:46 am)

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Last Updated

April 20, 2017 2:30 p.m.


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