You may already use inquiry in your teaching to encourage your students to become self-directed learners. Works of art lend themselves well to inquiry.

Here are some good inquiry questions to use with any work of art. Begin with a minute or two of silent looking, and then open up the discussion.

  • What is the first thing you notice in this work of art and why?
  • If you were standing inside this work, what would you hear and smell? What might you feel with your hand or taste?
  • If we could hear one thought from someone or something in this work of art, what might that thought be?
  • Why do you think the artist might have made this work of art?
  • What do you see now that you did not see when we first started looking at this piece? What made you notice it now?