Utilize this simple critical-viewing method to guide learners’ analysis of any visual media. By prompting learners to slow down their thinking and observe before drawing conclusions and asking questions, you can help them engage more deeply with and analyze more thoughtfully the media they are viewing. For a more detailed critical-viewing approach, see the analyzing images teaching method.
- Select an Image: Select a piece of art, photograph, political cartoon, propaganda poster, video clip, or another part of visual media that lends itself to a deep analysis by learners. This method works best when the image either reveals information about a particular time and place in history or reflects (intentionally or not) a specific perspective.
- Lead Learners through Analysis: Display the image or pass out copies to learners, and then pose the following three questions in order. Pause after each question to give learners time to reflect.
- What do you see? What details stand out?
- What do you think is going on? What makes you say that?
- What does this make you wonder? What broader questions does this image raise for you?
After posing each question, you may ask learners to respond in their journals, or you may use the think, pair, share method to provide the opportunity for brief paired and whole-class discussions.