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5-10 minutes




Stock photos (nature, people, animals, random)


To provide students with an opportunity to express and explain a personal choice and perspective, to hear and learn about others’ views and to bolster critical thinking skills in the process

  • Provide context for the practice (see “Evidence” section).
  • Provide ground rules for the practice, (see strategies in the “Active constructive listening” practice).
  • Post photos around the room.
  • Ask students to stand near the picture that resonates most with them at this time.
  • Each student within these newly formed groups (according to the selected images) briefly shares why they selected the photo, if comfortable.
  • As a class, discuss/reflect on the discussions that were generated related to the selected picture.

NOTE: There might be self-disclosures. Please know your responsibility to access support.

Complementary practice: Active constructive listening (Healthy relationship skills)

A student’s confidence in their knowledge of themselves sets the stage for their interest in, and ability to interact/build relationships with others and the world around them (Bergin & Bergin, 2009). Knowing oneself is foundational to many skills related to being mentally healthy (Bergin & Bergin, 2009). Being known by others, being engaged in social interactions and having an opportunity to develop peer relationships all contribute to a student’s self-confidence (Bergin & Bergin, 2009; DeWit et al., 2010).

Bergin, C., & Bergin, D. (2009). Attachment in the classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 21(2), 141-170.

De Wit, D. J., Karioja, K., & Rye, B. J. (2010). Student perceptions of diminished teacher and classmate support following the transition to high school: Are they related to declining attendance?. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 21(4), 451-472.