See, Think, Wonder

See, Think, Wonder is a question-asking strategy particularly useful for primary sources. I learned of the activity at a summer workshop with Kristin Fontichiaro who blogs at School Library Monthly.  A friend of mine who also attended the workshop put up a great bulletin board with the See Think Wonder triangle on it. I (naturally) napped a picture with my phone because as I told her, I intended to steal her idea in a big way.

I had a bulletin board space that just needed a display. Putting one up that will last most of the year is especially wonderful!

I printed outline letters on black construction paper and cut them out, cut out a triangle from bulletin board paper, then cut the second one an inch larger. On sentence strips I wrote: I see, What do you see?, I think, What do you think?, I wonder, and What do you Wonder? and had those laminated.

Then I posted a picture of one of the Wright Brothers’ early crashes. I can swap the picture weekly and keep the display up all year.

See is a statement directly related to the picture. A statement of fact. “I see a broken glider.”

Think is a prediction. It’s a guess of what might be happening. Stating the “I see” before the prediction gives students working in groups a chance to talk about the picture without one student immediately ‘figuring it out’ before others have had a chance to express their thoughts. On my example I wrote “I think someone crashed.”

Wonder is the chance to ask a question. This is a great opening into writing research questions. “I wonder who was flying?”

I love the fact that this model can be used with all ages of students. I’m exploring several sources for primary sources, but as I stated previously, the Library of Congress is a great place to start!

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