When using the images from our database, always ask your students to quietly look at the images for a few moments before you begin discussion. Your conversation is best begun by asking several core questions, allowing time for students to respond to each others’ views. Keep in mind that students may need to support their observations and interpretations with the visual evidence found in Reuben R. Sallows’ photographs.
“What do you see in this photograph?” and “What do you think is going on in this photograph?” are two open-ended questions that will stimulate students to think of many interpretations or observations of an image. Following with the question “What do you see that makes you say that?” will encourage students to support their opinions with evidence from the photograph.
Follow-up questions that will allow you to delve more deeply into the students’ responses include:
- What else do you see?
- What else is happening?
- Can you add to that?
- How can you tell?
- Where did you see that?
- Describe that for us.
- How do you know that?
- What do you mean by that?
- Can you say more about that?
- Does someone want to respond to that interpretation/observation?
- So, now what do you think about…?