Looking Exercises

Step One

General questions that motivate observation and personal (or group) interpretation
• What can you see?
• Have you ever seen anything like it?
• What is going on here?
• What else do you see?

To encourage students to ground their comments in observation ask:
• What do you see that makes you say that?
• How is this the same/different from other things you have seen?

Step Two

Questions that extend the process of observing and interpreting
• Can you tell what it is made from?
• What makes you say that?
• How do you think it might be used?

For figural works you may want to ask: • Who do we see here?
• What can you guess about their life and/or personality?
• What do they seem to be doing?
• When is this happening? (What time of day or season of the year?)
• What are they wearing?

For landscapes you may want to ask:
• Where is this?
• When is this? (What time of day or season of the year?) For both you may want to ask:
• What about … (point to a detail not yet discussed)? This asks students to pinpoint clothing, activities, gestures, expressions, etc., that might not have been noticed.

Step Three

Questions that lead to reflecting on observations
• What makes you think/say that?
• Is there anything else that makes you think that?
• What can we learn from thinking about this?