Strategies for Engagement #2

…to think with a key image or phrase

Key words, images and phrases can carry a powerful message. Learners can be encouraged to locate key words and phrases and use them in their work. They can use a word or phrase to change how they relate to a text; for example, thinking of words as gifts could change how they relate to stories and poems in English/literacy and encourage gratitude. Students might use the image of a cocoon for thinking about how their past has moulded them and challenging their thinking about the future.

  • Learners can locate phrases that need changing in resources when a topic on the environment is changed from ‘Exploring our world’ to ‘Exploring God’s world’, drawing attention to the world as a gift from God and encouraging a different perspective.
  • Having learners use the phrase ‘doing sorry’ can change the way they think about the injustices of the past in history and their view of whether later generations can make amends.
  • Learners can engage with multiple images of atoms in science by trying to draw or sculpt the terms used. This can widen their thinking and show that science is not just dealing with what we can see and touch. Too often science is seen as straightforward and concrete while religion is dismissed as abstract and nebulous.

Engaging in activities such as these helps learners to focus, for we do not think in a vacuum. We need words and images to direct our thinking. Being given new words and images can encourage thinking in a different way.