Lesson Plan: I Used to Think, But Now I Think

A routine for reflecting on change, from Harvard University's Project Zero: Visible Thinking Strategies


This lesson and thinking routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how or why that has changed.

National Core Standards

Refine and complete artistic work.

Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.



Time Required

15-30 minutes


Not needed


  1. Explain to students that the purpose of the activity is to help them reflect on their thinking and to identify how their ideas can change over time. For example:

    1. When we first looked at this image, some of you had initial ideas about it and what it was about. In a few sentences, please complete this phrase: “I used to think . . . “

    2. Now please think about how your ideas about this image (its content, theme, artist’s intent, context) have changed as a result of what we’ve been studying and discussion, or as a result of what you learned on the tour. Start your sentences with “But now, I think . . .”

  2. Students may share and explain their shifts in thinking. Initially, it is helpful to do this as a whole group in order to probe and push student explanation. They can follow up in pairs or small groups.

  3. While this activity can be performed with an abstract idea, you can also lead it with a specific image that you encountered at the museum. For examples, feel free to search the University of Michigan’s Exchange website for image you may have seen during your visit.


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Change — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (April 4 2017 @ 11:10 am)
Lesson plan — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (April 4 2017 @ 11:10 am)
Post-visit — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (April 4 2017 @ 11:10 am)
Postvisit — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (April 4 2017 @ 11:10 am)
Reflection — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (April 4 2017 @ 11:10 am)

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Last Updated

April 20, 2017 2:26 p.m.


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