Close looking: “O that she knew she were . . . a balloon?”

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At Beyond the Apple, we’re always looking for an intriguing image that provides an anchor to “cog up” a student’s problem solving. When we saw Canada’s Twisted Team recreate  Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene in balloons, we knew we had a winner.

To begin this close looking experience, share the image of Twisted Team’s balcony scene with your students (any age, any subject) and extend an invitation to engage:

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Then, invite the students to share their ideas:

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As the conversation develops, focus the “How” conversation on the micro, for example, how did the team create Mickey’s ears, the grass and the musicians:

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Then, view the image from the perspective of the Twisted Team. How did they anticipate, encounter and solve problems?

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Regardless of the age of your students and the subject you teach, the teacher’s role is to listen carefully as the conversation and problem solving develops and interject occasionally with questions that extend the problem solving:

  • How did you figure that out?
  • Could there be another way?
  • What little problems could become big problems?
  • What big problems might actually be little problems?
  • How is this like (provide a link to a current topic of study)?

Throughout this process, a teacher gains insight into how each student approaches a problem, the various ways students “connect the dots”, and the insightful ways students link this problem solving activity to their own experiences.

For more close looking experiences, please visit: Beyond the Apple . . . Reframing Conversations in Education  or contact us at

About Beyond The Apple

Beyond the Apple provides everything a Professional Learning Community needs! Designed to follow Beyond the Apple's Tenets of Adult Education, our videos re-ignite the excitement of professional conversations among educators in the classroom, university, colleges and professional training. Our free teaching and learning resources provide a follow up with more information that is current, research based and practical.
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