How to Implement the Color, Symbol, Image Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom


This method invites learners to reflect on ideas in nonverbal ways and encourages them to think metaphorically. Learners first focus on something they’ve just read and think about the central theme or thought that surfaced for them. Have learners reflect on how they can communicate the essence of what they’ve read using a color, a symbol, and an image. Use this method to vary the ways you invite learners to respond to ideas and appeal to the strengths of a variety of learning styles.


  1. Select a Stimulus: You can base this activity on any document, image, video clip, or another resource that you think may prompt engagement from your learners. Once you have chosen the stimulus, give learners time to read or watch.
  2. Learners Respond to the Stimulus: Prompts for learners: Think about what you’ve just read and select one main idea that you’d like to focus on. Then do the following:
  • Select a color that you believe best represents that idea.
  • Select a symbol that you believe best represents that idea.
  • Select an image that you believe best represents that idea.
  1. Debrief
    You may opt to keep learners’ responses private. You can also utilize the gallery walk teaching method to help learners reflect on the patterns in how they are responding.


Choose your Reaction!