Instructional Strategies



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Visual Discovery


What is it?
This strategy, developed by TCI, helps students analyze and interact with highly informative images to learn content and develop “big ideas”. Visual discovery provides an effective lesson structure that’s easy to implement. The key to a successful Visual Discovery activity is using a few powerful images that represent key concepts of the lesson.
How Does It Work?

  1. Select images that clearly convey the content. Portraits of famous people seldom convey much content, but photos, paintings, or illustrations of scenes or actual events often do.

  2. Ask carefully sequenced questions that led to discovery. These typically take the form: What do you see? Based on what you see, what is happening in the image? What significance does what is happening have for the content we are studying?

  3. Build on the learning. Have students extend the information from the image through reading/notetaking, sharing in groups or full class format, or in an “act-it-out”.


Why use it?

Visual discovery provides an effective lesson structure that’s easy to implement. It encourages students to analyze images and to make inferences and generalizations.



An Example:

The Unit Understanding (what the teacher wants students to learn):

The tremendous economic growth of the late 1800s gave rise to serious social, political and environmental problems.






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