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New York Times: 10 'Intriguing' Photos to Teach Close Reading, Visual Thinking

New York Times: 10 'Intriguing' Photos to Teach Close Reading, Visual Thinking

Living in such a fast paced world can be tough, especially for teachers who want their students to slow down and take their time on certain assignments. 

Whether it is reading a book, a poem, or looking at a painting, students tend to want to "hurry up and make meaning via a quick skim or a cursory glance," according to an article on NYTimes. In this article, teachers can access 10 "intriguing" photographs to teach close reading and thinking skills to their students provided by other students and teachers.

"Closely reading any text, whether written or visual, requires that students proceed more slowly and methodically, noticing details, making connections and asking questions," the article said. "This takes practice. But it certainly helps when students want to read the text. We’ve selected 10 photos from The Times that we’ve used previously in our weekly “What’s Going On in This Picture?” and that have already successfully caught students’ and teachers’ attention."

The first photograph the New York Times suggests is titled "Be Detectives."

"Looking closely can almost be like a game, Shirley Jackson, a teacher in Sydney, Australia, said: I stumbled across your site while looking for alternate ideas. My class of 10-12-year-olds absolutely love the photos and the back story became a competition as to who could 'see' the most, justify it and how close they were to the truth. Please don’t stop this amazing resource as it keeps our students informed as well as visually aware."

Jackson said that "practicing visual thinking skills with these images can be fun and a quick activity, but it can also hone important skills that transfer to other texts."

"Making sense of intriguing images like these can be more like detective work than anything else: Careful attention to detail rewards the viewer with a 'big picture' understanding," she added.

A second photograph is accompanied with the title "Practice Regularly."

"Every Monday during the school year we post a photograph stripped of its caption and context, and ask students what they see going on in this picture," the article said. "Hundreds of students participate every week from classrooms across the country and around the world — from elementary through high school, and even adult education E.S.L. classes — sharing their observations. Our partners at Visual Thinking Strategies moderate the discussion and encourage students to look even more closely for more details."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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