See, Think, Wonder!

By |2018-03-29T09:55:30-07:00October 14th, 2011|

Yesterday, I wrote about taking time to explore Artful Thinking strategies as an easy and powerful way to begin using Arts Integration in the classroom.  One of the ways that I always tell my teachers (beginning and advanced) to use Arts Integration is through a See, Think, Wonder chart as a creative thinking activity.

You begin by looking at an image or a problem and asking the students “What do you See” and writing everything they say down in the column.

Then, you ask “What do you Think” about anything that they noticed.  This probes them to look a little deeper at what they noticed on the surface to see if there is any significance to it.

Finally, you ask students “What do you Wonder?”, which allows them to take what they thought about the image or problem and let their imaginations run wild…what is the setting, what happened to cause this problem, why did the author/painter/creator set it up this way, what are we supposed to take away from this?  These are all high-level inquiries that propel our students into discovering the “answers” for themselves.

Now, many times teachers simply write I See…I Think…I Wonder in 3 columns down a piece of paper.  But what is Artful about that?  So I developed this See, Think, Wonder worksheet  for our teachers in AACPS to use as a resource with their students as a way to spur on their thinking.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 10.44.13 AM

The first column of the creative thinking activity is just a plain sheet of paper to write ideas.  The second one is a thought bubble, where the basic thinking can happen in the small bubbles and the big, complex thoughts can go in the big bubble above.  The third column is an energy-efficient light-bulb (we want to encourage going green!), which spirals upwards.

The wonder column is always the most challenging, because when student “wonder” they start with the obvious.  So place those comments on the bottom and as students begin to spiral their thinking upwards, add their thoughts to the increasingly higher levels of spirals on the light bulb.

Have you ever used a See, Think, Wonder chart before?

What was your experience with this creative thinking activity?  If you haven’t tried this before, print off the worksheet above and give it a try this week with one element of your teaching – and let us know how it goes!  I’m amazed at what this little See, Think, Wonder chart can do!



About the Author:

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education.Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.Email Susan


  1. […] their world and empowers them to activate their imaginations, a prerequisite to innovation.  In one Education Closet post Susan describes a wonderfully simple worksheet teachers can use to visually inspire their students […]

  2. Jody Cain February 17, 2014 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    The worksheet doesn’t open… can you share it again please?

  3. […] great strategies for accessing this connection, including Artful Thinking, Visual Thinking, and See, Think, Wonder, all of which are strategies that involve asking questions around a piece of art that lead to […]

  4. […] your project in an arts-based manner, even if the project itself is not arts-based (example: See, Think, Wonder […]

  5. […] Students can engage in “reading” art in this center (see the See, Think, Wonder strategy). Students can also use works of art as a writing prompt, or as a prompt for their own […]

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