"What’s going on in this picture?"
With this one question and a carefully chosen work of art, teachers can start their students down a path toward deeper learning and other skills now encouraged by the Common Core State Standards. The Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) teaching method has been successfully implemented in schools, districts, and cultural institutions nationwide, including bilingual schools in California, West Orange Public Schools in New Jersey, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
It provides for open-ended yet highly structured discussions of visual art, and significantly increases students’ critical thinking, language, and literacy skills along the way.
Philip Yenawine, former education director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and cocreator of the VTS curriculum, writes engagingly about his years of experience with elementary school students in the classroom. He reveals how VTS was developed and demonstrates how teachers are using art—as well as poems, primary documents, and other visual artifacts—to increase a variety of skills, including writing, listening, and speaking, across a range of subjects.
The book shows how VTS can be easily and effectively integrated into elementary classroom lessons in just ten hours of a school year to create learner-centered environments where students at all levels are involved in rich, absorbing discussions.
"Visual Thinking Strategies allows teachers to help students grasp unfamiliar material, define new problems and find innovative solutions collaboratively, while giving students what Yenawine calls 'permission to wonder,' Full of real-life and classroom examples, this is an insightful and inspiring book, valuable to schoolteachers, museum educators and parents alike." — John Strand, Museum Magazine