This routine asks students to identify and distill the essence of ideas from reading, watching or listening in non-verbal ways by using a colour, symbol, or image to represent the ideas.

This routine can be used to enhance comprehension of reading, watching or listening. It can also be used as a reflection on previous events or learnings. It is helpful if students have had some previous experience with highlighting texts for important ideas, connections, or events. The synthesis happens as students select a colour, symbol, and image to represent three important ideas. This routine also facilitates the discussion of a text or event as students share their colours, symbols, and images.
Resources & Links   Notes & Considerations    
PZ Visible Thinking: CSI [Web Link]   * After the class has read a text, you might ask the class to identify some of the interesting, important, or insightful ideas from the text and list these on the board. Select one of the ideas the class has identified.
* Ask students what colour might they use to represent the essence of that idea? What colour captures something about that idea, maybe it is the mood or tone.
* Select another idea and ask the class what symbol they could use to represent that idea.
* You might define a symbol as a simple line representation or uncomplicated drawing, such as two crossed lines to denote an intersection of ideas, or a circle to represent wholeness or completeness.
* Then pick another idea from the list and ask students what image they might use to represent that idea.
* You might define an image as a visual image or metaphor that is more complex and fully developed than just a symbol.
Pictures of Practice