Teaching Ideas

Using Photos for Creative Writing

Submitted by Admin (10-10-2012)

I often run out of ideas for writing topics and struggle to find fun interesting inspirational ideas.

I began looking through various magazines and the newspapers. I found some funny photos in animal pictures and sports pages and even some funny 'g' rated photos that come through on email.

One favourite is of a golfer who has hit a divot in the ground and the grass has landed on his hat!
We discuss these funny pictures. What happened, where is the person, how did this occur etc. When using animal photos we discuss body features, animal type, etc.

The photos really inspire the kids imagination and encourage their creativity.
I have used these photos Prep - Grade 2, but the concept would work at any level.

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What others are saying...

Donna (10-10-2012)

Thanks so much for this idea - it's great.

You could even use 'speech bubbles' or 'thinking bubbles' to write about what the people are saying or thinking in the picture about the situation.

Thanks for sharing...


Anonymous (10-10-2012)

My favorite photo was out of National Geographic. It was a photo of three pigs stranded on a board during a flood. I had the students write dialog between the pigs.


gotbooks (10-10-2012)

Recently, I used this technique with my Title I third grade class. Using a wintery forest picture from a calendar, I had them pretend they were in this forest taking a walk.

We talked about what we saw and brainstormed descriptive adjectives--snowy trees, white branches, etc. We did it for each of the 5 senses. They did this in pairs.

You could do this as a shared writing lesson as well. For an activity later on, each child will have 5 sticky notes--one for each sense and their own picture for creating descriptive phrases.

These steps make it easier to form into an interesting paragraph.


lois (10-10-2012)

Grade One:
I use pictures of animals from a calendar. I display them all and then the students choose an animal to write a riddle about. For example one clue may be --I have small, beady eyes and a thick fluffy tail. My face looks like I am wearing a mask. Who am I? The writing paper is folded so that they can lift the flap and draw a picture of the animal they choose. They love this activity.They read aloud so that their fellow classmates can guess.


Kellie (10-10-2012)

I love this idea. I have had a parent helper collect pics from magazines - sometimes the ads are quite funny.

These were glued on card and laminated to use as a writing prompt. They are fabulous - one of a man with a bandaid on his nose (insurance I think), and another favourite is a boy, wearing a t-shirt which has been pegged on the line (I think it was advertising sewing machines) - we just cut around the advertising parts :)


Kathryn (10-10-2012)

This is a great idea!

I also get my children to decorate their writing book at the start of the year with a variety of photos of family/events/holidays and cartoons that they enjoy.

If they are stuck for writing ideas I encourage them to take a look at the front and back cover for inspiration. Children write best about things they know well!


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