CSI: Colour, Symbol, Image

CSI is one of the more challenging  Visible Thinking Routines but it can really help students develop their understanding of a topic. The basic format is like this:

Think 
of 
the 
big 
ideas 
and 
important 
themes 
in 
what
 you 
have 
just 
read, 
seen,
or 
heard.

  • Choose
 a
 COLOUR 
that
 you 
think 
best 
represents 
the 
essence 
of 
that 
idea.
  • Create
 a
 SYMBOL 
that
 you 
think 
best 
represents 
the 
essence 
of 
that 
idea.
  • Draw
 an 
IMAGE that
 you 
think 
best 
represents 
the 
essence 
of 
that 
idea.

Carla's Colour Theme

I have used it as a way of analyzing characters in the book There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom. I felt I was taking a risk, but I was really impressed with my students’ abilities to explain their thinking, and support it with evidence. Although the basic routine asks for only one colour, I took it a step further, and asked my students to choose one of the colour themes at Adobe’s Kuler website. 

“Watermelon” is the colour theme that many of my students felt best described Carla, the school’s counsellor. When I asked them to explain, they said, “She’s happy, kind, nice, and easy to walk up to and talk to. She’s like Spring, when things are green and growing.” One excellent source of symbols is The Noun Project


 

2 thoughts on “CSI: Colour, Symbol, Image

  1. Hi Richard, We have used Adobe Voice to show our CSI’s. The icons in Adobe Voice are all from the Noun Project and the photos within the app are all CC licensed. You can save each ‘voice’ to the Camera Roll of the iPad and then create a new book on Book Creator and put each child’s CSI video on a page (with their name?) and then export the whole thing as a video. It sounds more complicated than it is! I love the idea of using the color themes. Very cool.

    • Richard says:

      Hi Sonya, Thanks for the comment. I’ve heard of Adobe Voice, but never used it. Currently, we don’t have access to iPads, and a quick search suggests that is can’t run on our MB Pro. That’s a bit of a shame, since it looks promising: powerful and easy to use. I remember hearing that there are ways of running iOS apps in an OS/X environment, but that’s likely more trouble than it’s worth.

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