The language of thinking

Use terms like hypothesis, reason, evidence, possibility, imagination, perspective

Ask, "What makes you say that?

Introducing and Exploring Ideas
See, Think, Wonder
1. What do you see?
2. What do you think is going on?
3. What does it make you wonder?

Think, Puzzle, Explore
1. What do you think you know about this topic?
2. What questions or puzzles do you have about this topic?
3. How might you explore the puzzles we have around this topic?

Synthesizing and Organizing Ideas
Headlines-Write a headline for this topic or issue that summarizes and captures a key aspect that you feel is significant or important.

I used to think...Now I think-
Reflect on your current understanding of this topic and respond to each of the sentence stems.

Digging Deeper into Ideas
Circle of Viewpoints-Identify the different perspectives that could be present or affected by what you have just read, heard, or seen. Record these in a circle with the issue or the event at the center. Choose one of these perspectives ot explore further, using the following prompts as a starting place:
1. I am thinking of [name the issue/event] from the point of view of...
2. I think [describe the topic from your viewpoint. Be an actor--take on the character of your viewpoint] because [explain your viewpoint].
3. A question/concern I have from this viewpoint is...

Tug of War-Place a line across the middle of your desk or table to represent a tug-of-war rope. Working with a dilemma that can be considered from multiple perspectives or stances:
  • Identify or frame the two opposing sides of the dilemma you are exploring. Use these to label each end of your "rope."
  • Generate as many "tugs' or reasons hta t"pull you toward" (support) each side of the dilemma as you can. Write these on individual sticky notes.
  • Determine the strength of each tug and place it on your rope, with the strongest tugs at the farthest ends of the rope and the weaker tugs more toward the center.
  • Capture any "What if...?" questions that arise int eh process. Write these on sticky notes and place them above the "rope."

Visible Thinking Resource Book for more!