New York Times: What's going on in this picture?


Each Monday, the New York Times posts one of their images, inviting students to discuss what they see. Posted without any text attached, students rely on their inferencing skills to make meaning about what they see. That's right - there are no headlines or captions. Which means kids draw solely on clues from the New York Times picture when they build their evidence.

Ideas for using "What's going on in this picture?"

  • Class discussion

    Check out this Monday's post to find a picture sure to get kids involved. Without the clues words usually provide, it's a great opportunity for kids to get clues from the New York Times picture then use their inferencing skills. Discussion questions are also posted to get conversations started.

  • Be part of a bigger discussion

    Visual Thinking Strategies collaborates with The Times to facilitate a discussion about the picture. This happens on Mondays between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. With their help making connections and paraphrasing, kids get the support they may need to have deeper discussions.

  • Writing prompt

    Encourage kids to build their observation skills by looking closely to discover something more in the picture. Then, write to explain what's happening. Change up the writing by participating in blogging sponsored on Mondays. The VTS facilitators are gentle persuaders urging kids to tell more.

  • Check back on Thursdays to get the background info not posted on Monday.

    Checking back and discovering how closely the class discussions did or didn't align with the actual news story could make for some deep discussions. Information posted on Thursdays includes the source of the image as well as when and why it was published by The Times. Then, your kiddos can have a follow-up discussion that includes how having the background information to the image might change their perspective or even their opinion of it.

Want to find out more?

The Times offers an information page to help you get started. Have tips to share? Please write! Together, we can do this!