The Y Chart
Looks like, Sounds like, Feels Like: Using Y charts to Describe

What is a Y chart?

Y charts are the perfect thinking tool to help students describe, create, identify and state effectively in their assessment and class activities. In short, they help students plan their response by organising their thinking around a chosen topic

Learning to successfully plan responses for specific task or cognitive verbs like describe and create is a crucial skill for students to master. Describe and create are some of the most regularly used cognitive verbs and the Y chart is a great way for students to lay out their thoughts.

Y charts ask students to list their senses in three different categories:

  • what did you see?
  • what did you hear?
  • What did you feel?

Students can list what the topic looks like, sounds like, and feels like or they can list things they imagine you would see, sounds that you may hear, and emotions or sensations you may feel. Encourage your students to use their imagination as well as their eyes, ears and touch as this will deepen their responses.

How can I enhance the Y chart for my students?

This thinking tools can be enhanced with the addition of split sections. A Split Y chart splits each section into common dichotomies such as positive/negative, fair/unfair, safe/unsafe, easy/difficult, strengths/threats. This allows the students to explore the subject a little bit deeper than with the original Y chart.

The example below shows a Split Y chart.

Y-Chart diagram

Get A Y Chart Template And Much More!

Thinkdrive has bundles of writable Y chart blank templates and ready-made examples for a range of subjects available to download and use in both MS Word and Google Docs format. Along with these templates, thinkdrive provides step-by-step guides, aligned sentence starters and assessment exemplars and templates for all regularly used cognitive verbs.

Download the writable Y chart template now

Looking for other thinking tools? Head to our articles page for more information on some of our favourites.

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