What Makes You Say That: Pictures of Practice
What does the routine look like in action?

Using the routine to explore inspire students at the begining of a social studies unit
Sandra Hahn, grade 3, American School of the Hague

The Numbering at Bethlehem by Bruegel, Pieter the Elder,1566. Oil on oak. Click image to read class discussion transcript.

Click here for image information and web link to larger image

Sandra used this image at left, Bruegel's painting of a busy town in winter, to motivate students at the launch of a unit on communities. After observing the image and gathering a long list of interpretations (click image for transcript of conversation), the class worked together to group their ideas. Students were asked to categorize similar ideas and group them into the different kinds of things that happen in communities, for example, gathering food, getting shelter, trying to stay warm, preparing for war, religion. An in-depth investigation of different urban communities followed.


Using the routine to launch a unit
Annie Bruce, grade 5 English as a Second Langague, International School of Brussels

Documentation of class discussion. Click image to enlarge.

To inspire her students for an upcoming unit on government Annie Bruce shared a image of a what appeared to be a drawing of a royal court. She used the What Makes you Say That routine to elicit observations about the image and captured student response on chart paper, clearly indicating each observation and evidence for the interpretation. Later, as they learned more about government, students could add to and revise their original observations.


Using the routine to explore images from ancient Sumer civilization
Christopher Leakey, grade 4, International School of Amsterdam

Click image to see more examples of student work

In the middle of a unit exploring ancient Sumer, students in Christopher Leakey's social studies class were asked to examine a series of black and white images. These were images of ancient Sumer ruins and artifact. In their journals students individually wrote interpretations about each of the images. Then , as a whole group, the class shared their various interpretations about the pictures. Ideas were captured on large sheets of chart paper, adding evidence for each interpretation. As they continued their investigation of Sumer, students were able to add to and revise the evolving list.