What does learning look like?

Which of these images makes you think of the learning in your class? Why?

Last lesson for the year. I dropped a pile of random images on each group’s table and asked them to pick one and relate it to their learning for their year. Some of my favourite responses…

  • Shoes: We put ourselves in other people’s shoes to look at things from different perspectives. (Tahni)
  • Walls: Our learning this year was never limited by the walls around us.(Matthew)
  • Clock: It took time for us to work together and become a community. (Allegra)
  • Signpost: We own our learning, so we can take it anywhere. (Aimee)

This is a great activity I once learned at a workshop, from which I remember nothing else! Choose images that have nothing at all to do with the topic you are teaching and ask students to relate them to their learning.

There are endless possible variations. Students can create or find their own images and the activity could be a digital one. What ever format you choose, you’ll get some really creative responses and be surprised by how their thinking and understanding can be revealed by the connections they make.


10 thoughts on “What does learning look like?

  1. I pick Voller’s picture, but I would have called it Over Many Horizons: the horizon of water, the horizon of air and the horizon of stone. There is something about horizons which inspires one to explore and learn more. I like how in this case the horizons meet in the center of the picture. The fortress wall contrasted with the water and air also suggests the meeting of man and his inventions with nature and its.


  2. I think I won’t wait til the end of the year for this. This could be a GREAT way for me to find out how I’m doing as we go along with new units I’m developing. How nice it would be to figure out in the middle that its not going well and not have to wait til the time we are assessing final products to realize I didn’t get it right. Thanks!


  3. Hi Edna!
    I enjoyed this activity, too. It was a bit different in that it was a bit more restrictive – we were given some sentence prompts and we added the rest (e.g. “Learning is like climbing a mountain because…”- and we came up with the answers individually – “because you need to take risks”).
    I prefer yours- it gives more freedom of expression and I love using pictures!
    Thank you for having shared this!


  4. Wonderful idea Edna. What a great way to emphasise the PYP Learner Profile. Encouraging your kids to be “reflective” and “open-minded” learners.
    You are an inspiration.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s