Writing Paragraphs - Picture Telling

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Activities & Lesson Ideas
Writing Lesson: Picture Telling
Webmaster note:  Picture telling is a creative and fun way to help kids develop their writing skills... and their imaginations!  Thanks for letting us know about this great idea, Sarah!

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Super Teacher Ideas
Picture Telling - Simple and Fun Writing Lesson
Submitted by Sarah in New Mexico
Boys' and Girls' Club: Kindergarten through 10th Grades

I work with several age groups in a Boys' & Girls' Club. We are constantly trying to make learning "fun".

One of the activities that we do is Picture Telling. We have different pictures from multiple sources such as newspapers, magazines, postcards, photographs, books, etc. Each is laminated onto a sheet of cardstock. On the sheet of cardstock we have multiple writing prompts and questions.

We show a group of children a photo and ask them various questions. Questions such as:

  • What are the people in this photo doing?
  • Where are the people in this photo going?
  • Which person would you want to be in this photo?
  • What time of year is it in the photo?
  • Who is taking this photo?

After asking a question about the photo the kids are then asked to write a paragraph or short stroy about the photo. We also use multiple prompts for the same activity.

For example we may show a picture of people riding on a train. The first prompt might be something like: "What is the title of this picture?

After writing a title we then use another prompt:  "Who are the people in the picture?" We instruct the kids to write a short paragraph about who is in the picture.

We may then ask, "Where are they going?" and instruct the kids to write another paragraph


Another fun alternative for this activity is to start out with everyone making a title for the picture. Then they switch papers with another student. The kids are then asked another question about the picture and given time to write a paragraph OR even make a idea flow chart. Each time a student is done with a prompt they switch papers with a new student. When done the final student with the paper reads the story aloud for others. If the idea flow chart idea - the student with the paper after the final question writes a story based on the ideas submitted and reads it aloud to the group.