See, Think, Wonder

This strategy will help students to:

  • spark interest and raise curiosity for a new topic or task.
  • make detailed observations, think carefully about why something looks the way it does or is the way it is.
  • think critically and generate questions.


  1. Choose an interesting object, image or small passage of text for your prompt – the scope for this is endless.
  2. Ask students:
  • What do you see?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

3. The routine works well in a group discussion but in some cases you may want to ask students to try the routine individually on paper or in their heads before sharing with the class. Student responses to the routine can be written down and recorded so that a class chart of observations, interpretations and wonderings are listed for all to see and return to during the course of study.


1 Comment

  1. See, Think, Wonder – really is a Fast, Simple & Effective Formative Assessment tool to implement. I used this more often in Humanities, but found it useful in Year 10 English too. I organised the ‘I See’, ‘I Think’, ‘I Wonder’ in PowerPoint image alternating with slide for personal reflection on observations made. For example: Year 9 Humanities, students made observations of images related to a specific biome, e.g., a Dry desert; a Pyramid rainfall and temperature graph for a dry desert; image of an area affected by the process of Desertification, an Advertisement for a campaign raising awareness, and more. I encouraged individual work, followed by Pair/Share and class discussion. I was amazed how easy it was to apply this strategy to Senior English. Students applied the same observations for Text Response written introductions, body paragraphs and conclusions – What they’ See, ‘Think’, ‘Wonder’, about what is included in each paragraph.

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