Close Reading of Images with the help of Google Slides!

Close Reading of Images

You've heard of Visual Thinking Strategies, right?  It's where you go deep into an image.   They have a powerful three question protocol:

• What is going on in this picture?
• What do you see that makes you say that?
• What more can you find?

So I've found that sometimes the questioning needs to go deeper and I have to guide it a little more.   I wanted my kids to look deeply at The Bloody Massacre on King Street by Paul Revere.

You've all seen it, right?  We can go superficial and say "I see men shooting" but there is so much more!  I asked things like "What do you notice about the light?", "What signs do you see and where are they? Why were they placed there?" and "Look at the faces.  What do you notice about the people on each side?"  I made an image in Powerpoint and inserted it as a background in Google slides.  I do that so the kids can't delete the picture accidentally.  Then I made a new slide for each question.  It really helps the kids understand the image through different lenses.

I love putting it into Google slides for different reasons.
  1. I can assign it through Schoology for easy grading.
  2. You can create multiple slides with different questions.
  3. I don't have to make any copies!
  4. The zoom tool is great to allow the kids to go in close to see details in the picture.  
This can be done with any art you like.  I just thought this was great for studying the British occupation and propaganda.  

Try making this for your kids about any piece of art.
If you would like this specific digital activity, you can find it here



Questioning Strategies

DoK Questioning Strategies

According to the Depth of Knowledge (DoK), there are four levels of questioning:

  • Recall
  • Skill
  • Strategic
  • Extended

The recall level involved recalling basic facts and information.

The skill level is a little deeper with explaining, describing or comparing.

Strategic questioning involves going even deeper with solving, concluding and critiquing.

The deepest level of questioning of all is extended.  That's where kids judge, justify and investigate.

Let's see how this works with a specific book, The Word Collector by the incomparable Peter H. Reynolds...

Recall level
  • Who is the main character?
  • What does he collect?
Skill level
  • What were the words he collected and what were the groups he collected them in?

Strategic level
  • What were some of the reasons he collected words?  Do you agree with him?  Would you collect the same types of words?
Extended level
  • Do you agree with Jerome and what he ultimately did with his words?  What would you have done with a collection of words?

Hope this is helpful!

Check out these stellar blogs to get more strategies!


Constitution day is September 17!

Constitution Day

Constitution day is September 17!  Here are some resources for you...

Have you heard of Mr. Bett's class?  He has amazing videos that he sings to modern songs.  His channel is:

Check out this one about the Constitution.  It's a Despacito parody.

If you're looking for a close reading activity, here is one from Fifth in the Middle on TPT.  It's perfect for grades 4-7.

In case you didn't know, there is an actual Constitution Day web site!  Check it out!  

Here is a lesson you can do.  

Start with the constitution!

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Then use a word cloud generator such as or wordle.  They need to choose 7-9 key words.  The words chosen the most will be the largest.

Using the largest key words, they can then create a summary sentence.  They should post that sentence on a padlet.  Make sure to sign in and create your Padlet first.  You can sign in with your Google account.  The you will have all their work in one place.

Hope this is helpful for you!!



Do you know Yuyi Morales?

Do you know Yuyi Morales?

I first discovered Yuyi through her book Viva Frida! in 2014.  The art was so beautiful, vibrant and different from anything I'd ever seen, I knew she was great!

Viva Frida 

Frida Kahlo is one of my absolute faves!  I want my students to appreciate her work and influence as much as I do!  The art with puppets is absolutely beautiful.

Niño Wrestles the World

She does it again!  Fwap!  Crunch!  She writes and illustrates this fun book which will teach your little ones about cultural elements of Mexico.  It's so funny and my kids love it.


This is her latest work and it is just magic!  It's about Yuyi and her son and their experience as immigrants.  The text is lyrical and dreamlike.  The colors are vibrant and bold.  You have to have this book!

Enjoy these magical tales!!   If you'd like some resources for these, check out my TPT store!  Hope they're useful for you.  

Check out these blogs for more ideas!



Great Picture Books with a Latin Bent

Great Picture Books with a Latin Bent

Great books for Hispanic Heritage month!  September 15 to October 15!

Drum Dream Girl
 This was inspired by Milo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African Cuban girl who wanted to be a drummer when girls were not allowed to be.  

Diego Rivera  His World and Ours
We all know Diego Rivera's work but this book gives a little more background especially for children.  The illustrations are by Duncan Tonatiuh who is amazing!

Viva Frida 

Frida Kahlo is one of my absolute faves!  I want my students to appreciate her work and influence as much as I do!

Separate in Never Equal
Do you know the story of Sylvia Mendez?  She and her family fought for equality back when Latino kids were segregated in California.

This is about Amalia Hernandez, the founder of ballet Folklorico.  Her Ballet is still performing in Mexico City today.

Nino  Wrestles the World
I love me some Yuyi Morales!  She writes and illustrates this fun book which will teach your little ones about cultural elements of Mexico.

and another celebrating diversity in general...
The Day You Begin
Everybody is different but how do you handle it?  Are you brave?  This is a great book about diversity and appreciating similarities and differences.  Jacqueline Woodsen always creates magic with her storytelling.

Enjoy these magical tales!!

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