What are Provocations?
Provocations are strategically selected objects that link to important symbols, themes, motifs and/or conflicts presented in a text and are used to encourage some pre-thinking about a text.
Provocations can be assembled in a random order, or be placed strategically to illustrate conflicts, relationships or to draw attention. Often, a bowl or plate of provocations can be used to practice a thinking routine (such as a an “I Notice/Wonder” chart) prior to using the routine with a text.
Do I use provocations for every text? No! Ideally provocations are used purposefully, alongside rich texts where you’d like students to think more closely about visual elements such as or symbols, or abstract themes, and ideas.
Why Use Provocations?
- They provide students with an opportunity to explore important themes or ideas prior to encountering them in the text form.
- To front load key vocabulary terms from a text.
- To serve as a concrete, visual representation of abstract ideas and topics.
- Provocations can act as a “hint” for themes and ideas to come, and then act as a signpost when student recognize them during the reading process ie. “ the wings on the bird remind me of the feather I saw in the bowl before the story”.
How Can I Use Provocations with Picture Books?
So glad you asked 😉 I’ll be posting some of my favorite picture book and provocation pairings. For see my first one for “After the Fall” see here.