Teacher, Matthew Seeney, has been using an innovative inquiry-based learning strategy called 'See, Think, Wonder' to get his students excited about a book and making early observations and predictions about the text. He recently contacted me about the fine work his class had been doing on my novel Two Wolves (published as On the Run in the US) and, here, he shares the students' journey...
'The students in 4/5/6S eagerly waited as they watched the new book for our novel study come out of the tub. It was Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks. The students were highly intrigued and couldn’t wait to turn the pages to see the story unfold.
Before any new book, it’s important to get the students thinking about what they are reading. In the beginning, whilst enthusiastically waiting to begin their journey with Two Wolves, the students in 4/5/6S used a strategy called ‘See,Think, Wonder’ from the book Making Thinking Visible. The purpose of this strategy is to emphasise the importance of observation as the basis for thinking and interpretation. The ‘seeing’ provides the students with an opportunity to look closely and notice before interpreting the picture. The ‘thinking’ allows students to ask themselves what they think is going on in the image. Finally, ‘wondering’ ensures students have had time to take in new information through observation, then think about and synthesise this information.
|See, Think, Wonder|
This strategy worked marvellously with Two Wolves. Students looked carefully at the front cover of the book to see what information they could gather. Students carefully described the cabin and the bushes on the front cover, some chose to sketch the cabin for more details.
Thinking led to many statements from the students like 'I think the person running on the cover is Ben Silver' and 'I think the cabin represents an evil wolf'.
As students reflected on their ‘seeing’ and thinking’, a whole world of wonder opened up for them. 'I wonder why it’s a picture of a cabin instead of wolves?' 'I wonder why there is a light on and who turned it on?' 'I wonder if the cabin is haunted?'
One of our students, Sophie Cross, said 'Each student has got a different opinion on what Two Wolves really means, but in this case there is no right or wrong answer. Students have been taking thinking to the next level by thinking more deeply about what they see. We have truly made the most of ‘See, Think, Wonder’ which has helped most of us get our ideas out there'.
As you can imagine, when the opportunity came to open the book, the students did so at breakneck speed, eager to see what lay ahead.'