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Spotlight on Strategies:Half the story

Zoom in on a small portion of an image and display to students. Students describe what they see and what they think they are studying (e.g. shark's teeth could be introducing a maths concept).

Big idea

How many of us have ever struggled to begin a conversation with students around a particular topic? They say pictures are worth a thousand words. If this is true, why wouldn't we use images as a springboard for discussion?  

Whether we are trying to show students that we need the whole picture to form an opinion or we are trying to encourage their minds to begin processing and making connections; images provide a quick and easy way to build a foundation for learning.

Overview of strategy



IWB, a relevant image

  1. Choose an image relating to your topic and zoom in on the upper right hand corner, so that you can only see part of the image.
  2. Ask students what they think they are studying today based on the image.
  3. Scroll down through the image, displaying the different sections, and repeat the question.
  4. Finally scroll all the way to the left so the entire picture is displayed and repeat the question.
Sum it up

This strategy is a highly engaging way to introduce a topic of study to your students. It helps them to make predictions as well as look at things from a new perspective.

More ideas
  • You can also have students write their predictions in a journal before they discuss with partners or the class. After the whole picture is revealed, they could add to the entry in their journal about how their prediction was correct or incorrect and why.
  • Be creative with your image and prediction use. In the example of a shark's mouth, students may think the topic was science related, but you could easily use these images to introduce multiplication by discussing the number of teeth and number of rows of teeth.

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