Monday, November 16, 2015

What's Going On in This Picture?

My kids are LOVING this resource I stumbled across.

What's Going On in This Picture is a part of The Learning Network Blog at The New York Times.  Here's how it works.

Each Monday, The Times posts a new picture . . . but there's no caption.  You discuss it with your kids, closely analyzing the picture, and see if you can determine what is going on.  If you want, your class can contribute to the comments on the blog, comparing their answers with others from across the nation.  Then, on Friday, they post a caption, a short explanation, and a link to a full news story explaining the event.

We are using a lot of See, Think, Wonder with this, and I am amazed every Monday at what the kids are noticing.  It's great for getting them to slow down, really notice details, discuss and debate, and support inferences.  For example, this past Monday, my kids inferred that the guy jumping the fire was American (the clothes), that it was happening on or near a roadway (the tires and if you look REALLY closely you can make out the outline of a road sign to the right), and that it was likely cold (again the clothing).  Some of their ideas were right, others wrong, but they loved finding out on Friday how close they were to the real story.

It's easy to incorporate in your classroom.  On Monday mornings, I have the picture up when they come in and begin working on morning work, so they have plenty of time to really study it.  After the bell rings, we take 5 or 10 minutes to discuss and write our comments.  Same thing on Friday - it's up to remind them of the picture, we review what we talked about on Monday, and we unveil the story.

Since today's Monday, now's the perfect time to give it a try!

Because, you know, a picture's worth .  .  .

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